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Med student has been intern for Newport News delegate
[February 24, 2009]

Med student has been intern for Newport News delegate

Feb 24, 2009 (Richmond Times-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Because being a fourth-year medical student apparently isn't challenging enough, Lesli Brown interned at the General Assembly this session.

The South Richmond native and Virginia Commonwealth University medical student interned two days a week for Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, R-Newport News. She helped to keep his schedule on track and greeted guests seeking face time with the delegate.

Brown, an aspiring primary-care doctor, was drawn to medicine through a curiosity born of fear.

"Growing up, I was deathly afraid of my pediatrician. His name was Doctor Bones, which I didn't realize was so funny until later," she said. "Even though I was afraid of him, I was somehow fascinated by what was going on in his office." Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Brown, 25, graduated from Richmond Community High School and then Xavier University of Louisiana. She's waiting to find out where she'll do her residency. Meanwhile, she's taking advantage of the VCU medical campus's proximity to the Capitol to learn the legislative process.

As with Dr. Bones, Brown was a little scared of Hamilton, with his commanding personality and booming voice. She's come around.

"He's very honest with constituents," she said.

Hamilton impressed Brown when a group of doctors from a hospital in which she's interested came to speak with him and he insisted Brown join the group photograph. Hamilton chairs the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee.

"I was in the corner like, 'Oh, he remembered!'" The experience has tuned her in to the role of lobbying, she said, and she hopes to be a bug in lawmakers' ears on health-care issues in the future.

Brown's bedside manner, so to speak, was appreciated.

"What impressed me the most was her ability to interact with constituents on issues," Hamilton said. "How she listened and tried to hear their perspective. She's been outstanding." ------ Contact Olympia Meola at (804) 649-6812 or

To see more of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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