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Posted by Ishani Ganguli November 15, 2013 09:45 AM
Last night, I learned of President Obama's plans to nominate Dr. Vivek Murthy for the position of Surgeon General: America’s chief health educator. I have the pleasure of knowing Vivek through several mutual friends as well as by reputation and I'm thrilled about the choice. Vivek is a hospitalist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Co-Founder of Doctors for Obama, a grassroots organization of physicians and medical trainees that worked to campaign for the president during his first election. In 2009, Vivek re-launched the group as Doctors for America (DFA) to advocate for better health care access, affordability, and quality - in part by promoting the Affordable Care Act; DFA now comprises more than 16,000 doctor and medical trainee members (including myself) in all 50 states. Through a public (and physician) education campaign that made use of speaking engagements, fact sheets, and personal stories, Vivek's group has sought to provide Obamacare with a much-needed public relations boost. His experience and success in this effort may now serve him well as the face of American health care (in lieu of healthcare.gov's Adriana) at a time when the ACA's public image is at a new low.
I know Vivek to be a soft-spoken leader who is sharply intelligent and incredibly sincere. He has long championed the notion that we doctors must advocate for the health of our patients. Though his path to Senate approval may be fraught with partisan rancor, I'm hopeful that he will soon embody and act on this principle as the nation's physician.
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About the authorIshani Ganguli, MD, is a journalist and a third-year resident physician in internal medicine/primary care at Massachusetts General Hospital. She studied biochemistry and Spanish at Harvard College and received her More »
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