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Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General?

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by smq123, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    I'm not sure how I feel about this.

    While I'm sure that he is more than qualified for the office, it's just hard for me to take him seriously sometimes, since I've never seen him in a role besides "media monkey." :oops:

    What does everyone else think?
     
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  3. beaverfetus

    beaverfetus poo-tee-weet?
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    I'm honestly curious, isn't that basically the job of the Surgeon General? Press conferences, towing the party line on whatever salient bio-ethics issues...

    is there anything else to it? I feel like the surgeon general is like the medical equivalent of the Royal Family in England.
     
  4. Spine Specialist

    Spine Specialist Passion for Spine
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    WOW! WOW!WOW! :thumbup:
    Unbelievable. I thought about him as a surgeon general candidate when there was a rumor of a chicago female neurosurgeon being tapped for the job. I have no doubt he is an excellent choice.
     
  5. andexterouss

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    I guess the deal didn't fall through for her.
     
  6. andexterouss

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    For some reason I'm not sure I can really take him seriously. I see him in the same light as glitz Beverly Hills plastic surgeons(very accomplished but still snake oil). However, I think with his high-profile status, he can be a very effective SG. I'm guessing the days of unmemorable Surgeon Generals are over.
     
  7. BlondeDocteur

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    I agree. In some ways he's actually more qualified than most (i.e. he served as a White House Fellow after medical school), and I actually rather like the way he was 'discovered' (he was a neurosurg resident at Emory when some trauma came in, and was interviewed about it... his screen presence and charisma were excellent so they offered him a job doing medical reporting locally). But then again-- who takes up an offer like that? Who quasi-leaves his neurosurgery slot to be a hack local reporter? Someone obsessed with being in the public eye, that's who. [N.b. I'm not of course condemning people's decisions to leave medicine, as he didn't-- he still operates occasionally, the ethics of which I find questionable too].

    I've met him in person and was not impressed. Way too slick. Had that faint whiff of narcissism both plastic and neurosurgeons occasionally emanate, times 100 for being a 'celebrity.'

    HOWEVER, since he's famous, good-looking and a TV personality, people might actually listen to him and take charge of their health, which would be great.
     
  8. HCE

    HCE
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    but who can forget Everet Koop (Reagan's Surgeon General), last seen doing t.v. commercials pitching the "I have fallen and I can't get up" product (Medical Alert?)
     
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    I had the same impression, although it was more a stench rather than a whiff. ;)

    I absolutely concur. Gupta is much more palatable and approachable to Joe 6-pack than Koop, Elders, etc. ever were and thus, is more likely to actually get his message out.
     
  10. ESU_MD

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    Guys like this.... you have to wonder if this guy could really operate, or was he driven out of the OR into the media world by some other reason. Neurosurgery is one of the fields you can kill alot of people quick if you have bad hands.

    On the other hand, there is alot more to life than operating. At least the surgeon general is actually a surgeon. he seems pretty well spoken. I bet he could have some good impact because he is already well known

    and for the sake of starting some flaming.... too bad he would sell out and work for a guy like obama who would want to put us all (doctors)on the unemployment line. Maybe Dr Gupta should take some of his fame and positive charisma and channel it into something that will help the his colleagues- like tort reform or reimbursements rather than a glam job that only serves his self.

    BTW- Poor Dr Koop. world class surgeon and he has to embarass himself by doing life alert commercials. Not exactly what I would call a public service "announcement"
     
  11. Try seeing him in person on rounds. Interesting...
     
  12. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Do tell...:D
     
  13. Spine Specialist

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    I'm sure he is gonna take a huge pay cut to serve american people. If he uses his position positively and selfless with his strengths ( charisma, medical knowledge, passion for public health, good speaker, likability) he could easily turn into a greatest surgeon-general ever.
     
  14. Maybe if I'm feeling a little braver later on... :)
     
  15. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    I have a Sam's-sized bottle of rum in my desk...
     
  16. Pir8DeacDoc

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    I agree. It's interesting as he fairly recently had a medical science complex named for him. I wonder if they named it for him as a show of respect or if he coughed up a big chunk of money? If he's loaded then I have no idea why he did those commercials.



    http://www.dhmc.org/webpage.cfm?site_id=2&org_id=796&morg_id=0&sec_id=0&gsec_id=41554&item_id=41554
     
  17. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    I'm pretty sure it was paid for by royalties collected by his sweet, sweet beard.
     
  18. PeepshowJohnny

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    Because he truly believe (like the lady says in the commercial) "Every senior should have life alert"
     
  19. SouthernSurgeon

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    This is actually a big issue to me. I know a number of surgeons who have moved into administrative jobs or other roles which required a lot of their time - many of them have stepped back from their surgical practice because they realize they do not have the time needed to keep up their skills. And this is for general surgeons and (relatively) straightforward operations; should be doubly so for a neurosurgeon.
     
  20. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    This doesn't bother me all that much. If he feels that he can still be a decent surgeon, while operating a day or two a week (which is what he says that he does), then that's up to him and his department chair.

    I also think it's the patient's responsibility to look into what surgeon they would choose - and do the research to determine if he is a good choice. If they are dazzled by the bright light of celebrity, and don't realize that all that time spent in front of the camera is time that he is NOT spending in the OR, then that is on them.

    I just think that continuing to operate while being a very well-known media personality is just extremely risky. He is opening himself up as a target for lawsuits from patients who see his celebrity status as a site of vulnerability.

    I also think that being a physician AND a journalist is a bad mix, because people expect you to be one or the other at all times, but never both together. When Gupta was in Iraq with a MASH unit, a few soldiers and an Iraqi civilian child came in with traumatic brain injuries. Since that MASH unit didn't have a neurosurgeon, Gupta volunteered to operate....and had a lot of journalistic organizations breathing fire for that. I think that a lot of journalists expected him just to sit by and not be a physician for a few hours. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Dr. Dukes

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    How often does a normal neurosurgeon operate? Assuming a 5 day work week, 1-2 days of clinic a week means 3-4 days of OR time. If Dr. Gupta only does (relatively) simple neurosurgical procedures this time commitment probably isn't a problem at all.
    That said, I'm an MSII, so I could be totally wrong, but frankly it doesn't seem that weird to me.
     
  22. BlondeDocteur

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    No offense, Pirate, but are you serious?! You have to wonder why the surgeon general had a medical building named after him? Everett Koop was one of the best pediatric surgeons this country has ever had. In his years at CHOP he made countless advances in both the science and the treatment of pediatric surgical disease. He's one of the last surgeon generals who was selected due to his excellence rather than his political/military connections.

    As for LifeAlert... he's in his 90s, is obviously not in clinical medicine anymore, and out of the public eye. Maybe he just wanted to do a bit more public service?

    I think it's great that they named a building as an honor to someone rather than as a statement of Accounts Receivable.
     
  23. MS3B

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    If Dr. Gupta wants to be a spokesman, fine. If the President wants a policy maker, Dr. Gupta is the wrong person. He's never run a private practice. He's never run a hospital. He's just a junior faculty in a county hospital with TV reporting experience. If the President wants a yes man to just tell people to stop smoking, he's one of the best choices.

    Dr. Ron Paul could really shake things up but he's too outspoken to work for the Prez.
     
  24. thebeatblitz

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    Almost every appointment Obama has made so far has been a farce, which doesn't bode well. Gupta seems like a nice guy, but we'll see how he fares under a much larger limelight than CNN's atrocious health page.
     
  25. Electrophys

    Electrophys Senior Member
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    A brown guy for surgeon general can't be all bad can it? I say this but I don't know what our street cred is like...

    I would love to know what he was like on rounds...seems like there are a few hilarious stories waiting to pop up...
     
  26. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    "Brown" or not, he still has an unpleasant reputation for being a media *****. Not exactly the reputation that you'd want your surgeon general to have.

    Any street cred that Gupta may have had was shot after he attempted to help Ted Kennedy via cellphone during the inauguration. I mean, how many hospitals are there in D.C.?
     
  27. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist
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    Look, as long as he payed his taxes. It doesn't look like beggars can't be choosers at this time...:rolleyes:
     
  28. DOquestions

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    Sanjay Gupta is no longer going to be the Surgeon General. He withdrew his name from consideration.
     
  29. desimd77

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    Rumor is that his family was not prepared to take the pay cut to 120k that you make as the Surgeon General. Its kinda unfortunate....i think it would have been a huge step forward for all brown (desi/Indian) people of the US.
    If the Prez is willing to look at another brown guy......I think Atul Gawande would be an excellent choice....an amazingly accomplished guy at a very young age......
    I guess we'll see what happens.
     
  30. Dr. Dukes

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    Any recent bravery?


     
  31. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Why does race really matter all that much in this? I think the election of Bobby Jindal as governor of Louisiana was a MUCH bigger "step forward for all brown people of the US." (And, yes, I'm speaking as an Asian minority too!)
     
  32. BlondeDocteur

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    I agree. Elected versus appointed and all that.
     
  33. Llenroc

    Llenroc Bandidos Motorcycle Club
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    He wasn't leftist enough and his candidacy was torpedoed by internal elements of the Obama administration who want someone more gung ho on the "socialize medicine" angle, that's the inside story from people I know in Washington. :sleep:

    I always thought he was a bit of an oddity myself. He's a neurosurgeon who lectures people on general, preventative medicine, something about which neurosurgeons know the absolute least. That said though, he did a pretty good job of it, and was as qualified as anyone else for the position.
     

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