CNN’s Sanjay Gupta Eyed for Surgeon General Post

Jan 6, 2009  •  Post A Comment

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in line to be named surgeon general of the United States, according to two Internet reports.
Should Dr. Gupta—who was named one of People magazine’s sexiest men alive in 2003—be confirmed, he would be the first made-for-TV surgeon general, bringing a camera-ready face to a role that has traditionally been seen as one of spokesperson for public health issues. Steven K. Galson has been acting surgeon general since 2007.
ABC News reported on its web site that President-elect Barack Obama has made the decision to appoint Dr. Gupta to the position. However, CNN.com was a bit more circumspect as of 1:05 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, saying only that Dr. Gupta “has been approached” about the role.
CNN, citing transition team sources, said Mr. Obama “is impressed with the combination of Gupta’s past government experience, as a White House fellow and a special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Clinton, along with his medical career as a neurosurgeon and his communication skills.”
Dr. Gupta also contributes reports to CBS News and writes a column for Time magazine.
CNN.com said the network’s management had released a statement saying, “Since first learning that Dr. Gupta was under consideration for the surgeon general position, CNN has made sure that his on-air reporting has been on heath and wellness matters and not on health-care policy or any matters involving the new administration.”
As news of Dr. Gupta’s likely appointment spread through the CNN empire, insiders at the network said there was “excitement” over the nomination for the “genuinely well-liked” Dr. Gupta.
“People are even joking about how he’ll look in his uniform,” one CNN insider said.
The Washington Post first reported the news of the Gupta nomination on its Web site Tuesday.
Dr. Gupta has been with CNN since 2001 and has reported on major events such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 campaign. A neurosurgeon, he is on staff at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital.
(2:25 p.m.: Updated throughout)