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Sanjay Gupta Withdraws:

CNN's Sanjay Gupta has withdrawn from consideration as the next Surgeon General.

Calderon:
I blame Paul Krugman and Michael Moore.

Maybe we'll see some fiscal conservatism from Obama and he'll get rid of this useless position.
3.5.2009 6:26pm
Hank Bowman, MD (mail) (www):
Or at least get a physician in place with a real background in public health, not a media whore.

I'll give Gupta props for his stepping in and performing surgery during the early Iraq war, but his statements on his TV show have been total BS: Woo, and scaring the crap out of my patients.
3.5.2009 7:20pm
davod (mail):
Taxes or foreign affiliations?
3.5.2009 7:20pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
He took the position with Ringling Brothers, I guess...
3.5.2009 7:23pm
Sagar:
davod:
may be taxes - I am sure if audited strictly most every American would owe some taxes.

Hank Bowman, MD:
Or at least get a physician in place with a real background in public health, not a media whore.

what do you think is the job responsibility of SG?
3.5.2009 9:20pm
Ariel:
My first thought was also taxes.
3.5.2009 9:38pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
All right! Obama has another chance to nominate someone who'll turn out to owe back taxes. At the rate he's going, he'll eliminate the deficit in six months.
3.5.2009 10:26pm
AlanfromOntario:
First we lose Bobby Jindal to a self-inflicted brain-fart, and now this.
3.5.2009 10:42pm
Mark30339:
Baby killer Barry is losing a kindred spirit. See Dr. Snuff, I Presume?


"I offer as evidence a recent story on CNN concerning a new prenatal test that can detect the presence of Down Syndrome. CNN's website reported the primary benefit of this test is that it gives "mothers-to-be more peace of mind and more time to end a pregnancy," a position shared by on-air medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta (a.k.a. Dr. Snuff). This emphasis on the extermination option outraged many Down parents . . . ."
3.5.2009 11:03pm
AlanfromOntario:
That's almost as bad as urging that DES babies born with flippers should not be carried to term.

The world needs and loves flipper babies.
3.5.2009 11:05pm
bushbasher:
I thank Paul Krugman and Michael Moore. Gupta is a dishonest creep.
3.5.2009 11:12pm
jayne_cobb:
Does this make Michael Moore the leader of the Democrats?
3.5.2009 11:22pm
neurodoc:
AlanfromOntario: That's almost as bad as urging that DES babies born with flippers should not be carried to term.

The world needs and loves flipper babies.
The congenital deformity you allude to is properly known as "phocomelia" and I don't think it has ever been linked to in utero exposure to DES, which can cause problems of a different sort. The best known cause of phocomelia is exposure to Thalidomide in utero, but Accutane, a highly effective treatment for acne, will do it too, and the condition may be genetically transmitted as well.
Hank Bowman, MD: Or at least get a physician in place with a real background in public health, not a media whore.

I'll give Gupta props for his stepping in and performing surgery during the early Iraq war, but his statements on his TV show have been total BS: Woo, and scaring the crap out of my patients.
To be sure, some pretty stupid things are said about medical matters on television, but what exactly has Gupta said that you see as "total BS"? If it is related to prenatal testing for Down's or other conditions and terminations of pregnancy or the like, then I wouldn't regard that as "total BS," but rather as an opinion which others may or may not share about what is morally right or wrong.

As for being a "media whore," he does tend to be flashy and at times reminds me a bit of Geraldo Rivera in the way he thrusts himself into stories, but I don't recall him saying anything in particular with which I would take issue. I would agree that he would have been an inappropriate pick for SG. (SG is a position without a whole lot of authority within the federal government, but it is something of a bully pulpit and not a "useless position," IMO.)
3.5.2009 11:43pm
Ivan Skavinsky Skavar:
Sagar, the SG directs the Public Health Service. Seems some experience in public health would be helpful.
3.5.2009 11:45pm
Sagar:
Ivan,

you can make that argument for every position in the cabinet; He is a practicing doctor and a fairly high-visibility TV personality who would get some attention when he uses his position to give health advice to the TV watching population of the country (which is a vast majority of the said population).
3.6.2009 12:42am
Splunge:
Yah, the exact role of the SG is a little weird. Seems like he's been put in and out of the chain of command between the Secretary (of HHS) and the Public Health Service. Further, the relation between the PHS and efforts like the CDC, which seem to report separately to the Secretary -- maybe even have separate budget processes -- is a little weird.

For that matter, I bet things like developing plans for national-level coordination of responses to, say, a flu pandemic are spread out to FEMA and maybe even DHS, too. If we have a flu pandemic and a million people die, I bet there will be some major finger pointing afterwards at the muddy and divided responsibility structure in public health. We've gotten a bit sloppy since 1918.
3.6.2009 12:56am
neurodoc:
Splunge: For that matter, I bet things like developing plans for national-level coordination of responses to, say, a flu pandemic are spread out to FEMA and maybe even DHS, too.
I don't know what exactly FEMA and DHS may be tasked with in this regard, but I can tell you that DHHS is heavily involved in the planning.

And you are right about the SG's role in things, that is lack of much line authority, notwithstanding the 3 stars (equivalent to Vice Admiral or Lt. General) he/she wears. (Speaking of SGs, it seems that former SG Antonia Novella is in trouble for her conduct as the state commissioner of health in NY after she retired from the US PHS. She stands accused of doing something of a Leona Helmsley act while holding that state position. Dr. Novella was less qualified to be SG than Gupta would have been, her appointment very much a political thing. The White House then did not want another C. Everett Koop, who was far too independent for them.)
3.6.2009 2:24am
Splunge:
I don't know either, doc, which is kind of the point. I'm not sure anyone below GS-15 does.

I do know DHS runs the NIMS system, which all of us "local responders" are required to know and use, for what that's worth.
3.6.2009 2:50am
AlanfromOntario:
neurodoc - whatever you call those flipper babies, they are God's little treasures.
3.6.2009 1:19pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
AlanFromOntario,

That's almost as bad as urging that DES babies born with flippers should not be carried to term.

The world needs and loves flipper babies.

Alan, have you ever heard Thomas Quasthoff sing? I have.
3.6.2009 1:34pm
ruralcounsel (mail):
I guess even a media whore doesn't want to book a gig on the Titanic!
3.6.2009 1:50pm

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