Indian American doctor to be Obama's next Surgeon General

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 09:26 hrs

Washington: US President Barack Obama has announced his intention to nominate Indian-American Dr Vivek Hallegere Murthy as his next surgeon general.

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.

Obama announced his intention to nominate Dr Murthy to the top administration position along with several other nominations yesterday.

"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," Obama said in a statement.

The move has been hailed by the influential Indian-American physician community.

In 2011, 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.

Murthy also co-founded Visions Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, 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 Obama, Dr 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," 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.

"His ethics, quiet leadership style and impeccable credentials make him the smart choice for this position. We will certainly mobilise the physician community to support his confirmation," said Dr Ajrawat.

"Murthy has joined us on Capitol Hill for our legislative functions, he has spoken to our members in conference calls and he has consistently engaged AAPI and physician organizations," said Dr Sampat Shivangi, AAPI Legislative Committee co-chairman.

"We know how much this nomination means to our community," he said.

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