A prominent Indian-origin doctor who heads a group that promotes Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law could become the next US Surgeon General with the President planning to nominate him to the top medical post.
Mr. Obama announced his intention to nominate Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy to the top administration position along with several other nominations on Thursday.
Dr. Murthy, if confirmed by the Senate to become the US Surgeon General, will be the youngest in the country’s history to assume the post. He will replace Regina Benjamin, who was appointed by Obama in 2009 and left her post last summer.
Co-Founder and President of Doctors for America, Dr. Murthy is a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School.
Doctors for America is a group of 15,000 physicians and medical students that has rallied behind ‘Obamacare’.
“I am confident that these outstanding individuals will greatly serve the American people in their new roles and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.
The move has been hailed by the influential Indian-American physician community.
In 2011, Dr. Murthy was appointed as a member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.
He has been the co-founder and chairman of the board of TrialNetworks, formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007.
Dr. Murthy also co-founded Visions Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the US, where he served as president from 1995 to 2000 and chairman of the board from 2000 to 2003.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and MD from Yale School of Medicine.
Hailing the announcement made by Mr. Obama, Jayesh B Shah, president of the influential American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) said that Obama has made the right choice.
“This news cements the reputation physicians of Indian origin have across America,” Dr. Shah said.
“Obama has made the right choice in naming a highly qualified physician to serve as America’s next surgeon general. We are proud of Vivek and his many accomplishments and look forward to supporting him throughout the confirmation process,” he said.
“Vivek represents the next generation of Indian—American physicians,” said Dr Harbhajan Ajrawat, AAPI Legislative Committee chairman.