Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General of the US

If nominated my Obama and confirmed by the Senate, I personally believe this is an inspired choice for the position, as it is largely ceremonial and in the public eye where he can make pronouncements in the interests of Public Health in the United States.

Appointing a person in the media spotlight allows both name recognition and familiarity. He has not made any faux pas in his job reporting from hotspots all over the world and is generally aware of most of the public health issues worldwide. He is a neuro-surgeon by training and is therefore competent and no pushover.

Having a position of authority Dr. Gupta can impose his own stamp on matters and knowing how to maximize public exposure, through selective use of media, will be more effectively able to communicate his message to the mass audience. This is most critical to get the message to the masses.

Obesity the leading public health issue can be more purposefully dealt with by a young looking, slender operator, expounding the virtues of healthy eating, in order to reduce as much as possible the preventable diseases of the day. He can expound the truths and myths of smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug abuse as well as sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS without getting stuck into politically sensitive areas of abortion and women’s reproductive rights.

I was so surprised when I heard of this choice that I thought it was a joke, but the more I thought about it I believe his appointment is one of the most inspiring of the administration, and one where a permanent stamp can be made on this position with future SGs finding it exceedingly difficult to emulate. I am confident that he will perform his function to the best of his ability. We can expect some novel approaches to improving the general health of the population that is increasingly dependent on drugs to live at an enormous cost to themselves, and their productivity in whatever they do.

In conclusion, I wish him well and hope he can by his position influence the world public opinion, which is not his brief. He is in a position together with the WHO to use the power of the USA and wealth of the Bill Gates Foundation to do some lasting good in eliminating and minimizing scourges around the world, especially as it pertains to the young and innocent children who are sick or may be at risk of developing preventable illnesses.

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