Watertown native Dr. Delos "Toby" Cosgrove has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job of secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs.

"This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, but I have decided to withdraw from consideration [for] this position and remain at the Cleveland Clinic  due to the commitment I have made to the organization, our patients and the work that still needs to be done here," Cosgrove said in a statement, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Earlier in the week, it was reported the Obama administration was eyeing Cosgrove to take over the troubled VA system, which is struggling to recover from a scandal in which veterans were kept on secret "waiting lists" that delayed medical care, and may have resulted in deaths.

The scandal forced the resignaton of General Eric Shinseki.

Our coverage from last week...

According to a report in the "Wall Street Journal," Watertown native Dr. Toby Cosgrove could soon be the new leader of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last Friday, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down when accusations of mismanagement became louder after reports of patient deaths tied to long wait times.

As for Cosgrove -

"He's somebody who comes from Watertown, comes from the north country, will understand what's happening to the veterans, which is the most important aspect of this," said Congressman Bill Owens (D. -21st District).

He has spent the last decade as the head of the world renowned Cleveland Clinic.

While a surgeon there in 1998, he performed surgery on Watertown's Joe Rich.

"It seems as though when anybody from northern New York goes to the Cleveland Clinic, they're treated like royalty," said Joe Rich, a friend.

Cosgrove has come a long way since his 1958 graduation from Watertown High School.

His journey includes stops in Rochester, the Vietnam War, London and Boston before landing in Cleveland.

His friends like the idea of his next stop being Washington.

"I thought it was a great idea. Toby is not only a caring person, but he's the type of person that gets the job done," said Rich.

"He certainly runs the Cleveland Clinic well. He's run it efficiently," said Dr. Margot Remington, a gastroenterologist at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse.

Dr. Cosgrove is not commenting on the report.