CNN's TV Doctor Withdraws as Surgeon General Candidate

by VR Sreeraman on  March 6, 2009 at 1:48 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
CNN's TV Doctor Withdraws as Surgeon General Candidate
CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta said he has withdrawn his name from consideration to be President Barack Obama's surgeon general and serve as chief overseer of Americans' health.

"I was flattered," Gupta said on CNN of the consideration he was given by the White House for the high-profile post.

But it was "really more about my family and my surgical career," he added.

"I've always been drawn to public service," Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and CNN correspondent, told talk show host Larry King.

The imminent arrival of his third child, however and his work at a county hospital in Atlanta prompted Gupta to decline, he said.

"I'd probably be away for the first several years ... and I just didn't feel like I should do that now," he said.

Earlier, the news network cited an administration official confirming Gupta had bowed out.

"Sanjay Gupta was under serious consideration for the job of surgeon general," the unnamed official was quoted as saying via email to CNN.

"He has removed himself from consideration to focus more on his medical career and his family. We know he will continue to serve and educate the public through his work with media and in the medical arena."

CNN first announced that Gupta was in the running for the position two months ago.

Gupta, who is well known from his television and print reporting on medical matters, was said to have caught the administration's eye with his communications skills and his past experience in government as a White House adviser during the 1990s.

As head of the 6,000-member Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the surgeon general acts as the government's chief spokesperson to educate the public on health issues, but has little direct role in policy-making.

The position is perhaps best known to Americans through the surgeon general's health warnings printed on all cigarette packets sold in the country.

Source: AFP

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