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WASHINGTON — Since 1960, nearly 50 doctors have traded in their white coats for the suit jackets required in the halls of Congress. And there’s been one remarkable constant: The doctors-turned-legislators in those blazers have been overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly Republican. Just a handful were Democrats and only two were women. None were both.

This year, Dr. Ramsey Ellis, a progressive hand surgeon from the Chicago suburbs, is working to change that. She’s throwing the support of a private group of more than 8,000 Democratic female doctors across the nation behind a slate of eight congressional candidates with the same qualifications: all women, all Democrats, and all doctors — pediatricians, gynecologists, and ER physicians among them.


“Women are missing from public debate and physicians are missing,” Ellis, a former grassroots organizer for Hillary Clinton and the candidates lead for the group — called Physician Women for Democratic Principles — told STAT. “Given that a sixth of the American economy is health care, I think it’s time that [women] physicians step into the arena and tell the stories of what happens with patients, and bring that lens of problem solving to public discourse.”

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