Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Did you hear? Sanjay General!

Yes it is true. Pres-Elect. Obama has asked Dr Sanjay Gupta, Neurosurgeon to be Surgeon General.

Before joining CNN in 2001, Gupta was a neurosurgery fellow at the University of Tennessee's Semmes-Murphy Clinic and the University of Michigan Medical Center. Gupta has some experience in politics and policy. During the Clinton administration, he was a White House Fellow and special adviser to first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

So the questions. First, what does the Surgeon General do?

According to the Surgeon General's Site

The Surgeon General serves as America's chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The acting Surgeon General is Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H.

I am pretty surprised that Sanjay was nominated. He is not exactly a public health guy. In fact, at the pace Obama was naming genetics people, I was half expecting Muin Khoury to be nominated. But, Sanjay is certainly an interesting pick. Now the question is, what will a Neurosurgeon tell the public about Genetics and Personalized Medicine.

My guess is not too much right now. I hope he will get up to speed on these subjects. Neurosurgeons are not exactly known for their prowess in pharmacology or even science.

A friend of mine and Neurosurgeon once joked "Do you know the difference between a Neurosurgeon and a Neurologist?"

"A Neurologist knows everything and does Nothing. The Neurosurgeon does Everything........"

He couldn't bring himself to finish the joke.....Figures.....egomaniacs........

Seriously, I want to know how this will affect the public perception of Personalized Medicine. In addition, some are already poking fun at his scientific knowledge. At the Chicago Tribune too. I have always thought of the Surgeon General as the end of a punchline, but they do have the potential to cause a stir.....

BTW, a google search for Gupta and personalized medicine reveals almost nothing showing he has reported on the topic.....He did report on Venter's Genome though, so that counts for something......well maybe not when he opens with "This man Knows his Destiny".....clearly not exactly the in depth knowledge I would want, especially when he says "He has all 3 heart attack genes". He's more like the GenomeHype WoMen from 2008......

That has me a little scared or skeptical. But one thing's for sure. He certainly is picking a lot of Clinton people.

The Sherpa Says: You gotta love it, even the Russian version of Newsweek says I am a fierce skeptic of 23andMe.....So, Do Svidanya for now....While you await the return, can you guess what the graph is???


Red Herring said...

3:35 AM????? On call again, we suppose. An inpatient rotation?

What should the relationship be between TSG, Sec'y HHS, Director NIH, and the Current Occupant in terms of a vision for US Healthcare Reform? What will it be?

Steve Murphy MD said...

Good question Red,
I honestly don't know. I do envision TSG as a face man, but the Director of the NIH should be as well. The HHS secretary should be working on the Pres. While TSG should focus on clinical care we can deliver now and NIH should be charting where the puck WILL be.

Tough to say the best structure though.


p.s. Blogger allows you to schedule your posts