By Taazakhabar News Bureau
Dr. Vivek Murthy is going to be the 19th and youngest Surgeon General of the United States. Vivek is going to be the first of Indian-American physician to don the Surgeon General’s lab coat. Having been confirmed by the U.S. Senate the Surgeon General a nominee of the President holds the office for a four-year term.
“As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong.”
Interestingly the surgeon general is neither a practicing surgeon nor a general. The Surgeon General’s chief responsibility is to provide Americans with the best scientific information on how to improve our health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The Surgeon General is known as America’s doctor.
The Surgeon General is considered a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and by law holds the rank of vice admiral. Besides being the head of the 6,700 members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the Surgeon General is also the Chair of the National Prevention Council, a group of 20 federal departments and agencies committed to prevention and wellness for individuals, families, and communities.
He reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), who may be a four-star admiral in the United States Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), and serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on public health and scientific issues. The Surgeon General is the overall head of the Commissioned Corps, a 6,500-member cadre of health professionals who are on call 24 hours a day, and can be dispatched by the Secretary of HHS or the Assistant Secretary for Health in the event of a public health emergency.
The surgeon general is USA’s top spokesperson and conscience keeper on public health issues. The Surgeon Generals main role is to issue a warning on public health issues. The surgeon general’s report on the harms of nicotine in 1960’s led to warning labels on cigarettes packets.
A John F. Kennedy nominee Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry sparked off a massive anti-smoking efforts when he pointed out that smoking may be hazardous to health.
Everett Koop, arguably the best-known surgeon general in the Reagan era focused attention on anti-smoking and AIDS epidemic. He authored “Understanding AIDS” a 7-page booklet brochure and got it mailed to 107 million households – the largest-ever public health mailing. Koop’s report on AIDS in 1986, called for AIDS education in elementary school, and using condoms for disease prevention.
Murthy, on his part might focus on the obesity as one of his key issues.
Dr. Vivek Murthy is going to be the fourth Surgeon General nominated by President Obama. Donald L. Weaver, Regina Benjamin, Boris D. Lushnia were the other three. Dr. Murthy confirmation was awaited when Dr. Regina Benjamin, resigned in 2013. But instead Boris D. Lushniak was nominated as Acting Surgeon General. Dr. Murthy is finally going to succeed him.
Born in England to South Indian parents, he spent most of his childhood in Miami, where his father was a primary care doctor. The 36-year-old physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Vivek Murthy is the Co-founder and president of Doctors of America, a nonprofit of physicians and medical students working together to improve the health of our nation by ensuring everyone has access to affordable, high-quality health care. A faculty member at Harvard Medical School, he founded TrialNetworks a drug testing Technology Company in 2007 and also co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a nonprofit focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States.
He makes it a point to practice yoga daily, despite his busy professional schedule.