Yesterday, a rumor hit the wires that the Obama adminstration was strongly considering Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s health reporter and a neurosurgeon to boot, for the position of Surgeon General.
Well, that rumor is generating all forms of comments and Blog postings (just do a search, too many to start providing links to) and earlier today it was the second hottest topic on Twitter after MacWorld. Surprised to see the number of people who are really upset about this, one being Dr. Val, formerly of Revolution Health.
We take a contrary view and see this potential nomination as a brilliant move by the Obama administration for three reasons:
- Dr. Gupta is well known entity among consumers.
- Dr. Gupta knows how to communicate to the lay public, is charismatic and likable.
- Obama, Dashcle et. al. are going to need all the help they can get to both educate and sell the public on their healthcare reform ideas – Gupta fills that roll to a key.
Gupta, who has been a strong advocate on numerous consumer health issues including more recently, obesity, could also prove instrumental in encouraging consumers to take a more active and direct role in managing their health. By extension this may help in educating the public on such issues as their rights to medical records, the need for digital records to promote safety and subsequently the use of personal health records, health 2.0 tools , personal health platforms, etc. Yes, it is a stretch, but certainly within the realm of possibilities and there is a very real need for this type of education across the broad expanse of the public.
Besides, why all the fuss anyway, we haven’t had a Surgeon General since 2006.