Can you believe that it’s only one week till President-Elect Barack Obama takes office? I must admit the two month transition is exhausting for me, I can’t imagine what it has been like for him. As the weeks passed following the election it was interesting to see who would be appointed to the cabinet for the new administration. Each and every appointment came with anticipation and often a great deal of enthusiasm. Then one night the news reported that Sanjay Gupta was being considered for the post of Surgeon General.
There are a number of things about Dr. Gupta that I feel would make him an excellent candidate for the post. He’s a young (will turn 40 this year), well respected neurosurgeon. He’s been a part of the CNN team reporting on health and health policy. But there are other reasons that I believe he’d make a good choice for the post of Surgeon General. He would be the first Surgeon General since C. Everett Koop whose name people would know if you asked them on the street. He seems approachable, maybe that’s just a television persona, but that type of acceptance by the public means greater acceptance and credibility with the American public.
There are a lot of very critical issues that need to be addressed in the healthcare arean. Having someone who hasn’t simply been part of an exclusive medical practice is encouraging. Dr. Gupta’s experience in the media means he’s not adverse to talking about the difficult issues. He’s already used to the pundits views so he’s developed a thick skin towards the media giving him greater flexibility to carry out the work of the Surgeon General.
Healthcare will always be an issue because we live in an capitalist society and economics often dictates policy. The question is that since so many new voters were registered and actually voted will there be a new mandate? Will we as healthcare consumers expect more from our Surgeon General. This is more that public service announcements, we’re talking about taking a stand, working with the Congress and the President on crucial issues effecting our country.
For me it’s a thumbs up for Dr. Gupta. A fresh perspective is needed and he’s the man to lead the charge!