During the waning days of the 113th Congress, the U.S. Senate has at long last confirmed Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., to be the 19th surgeon general of the United States. An educator and practicing internal medicine physician, Murthy has been an outspoken champion on a number of public health issues of keen importance to family medicine.
In a Dec. 15 statement, AAFP President Robert Wergin, M.D., of Milford, Neb., applauded Murthy's confirmation, calling him "extremely well qualified to serve as our nation's chief public health spokesperson."
"As a practicing physician, Dr. Murthy brings extensive clinical expertise caring for patients and training hundreds of medical residents," said Wergin. "The AAFP strongly supports Dr. Murthy's commitment to the four important unifying public health issues he identified in his Senate confirmation committee testimony: prevention, obesity, tobacco cessation and mental health."
The Academy has been vocal in its support for Murthy's nomination, joining with several other physician specialty organizations in calling for his confirmation in a Nov. 7 op-ed piece(thehill.com) published by The Hill in its Congress Blog. More recently, Wergin joined other physician leaders in a Dec. 2 Capitol Hill press event(twitter.com) during which he spoke about the need to move Murthy's nomination forward.
Murthy earned his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine and an M.B.A. in Health Care Management from Yale School of Management. He completed his residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2006.
Among his many accomplishments, Murthy is co-founder and president of Doctors for America(www.drsforamerica.org), a national organization of more than 16,000 physicians and medical students who are collaborating to improve health care in U.S. communities. He also was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Group for Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health, which developed the nation's first National Prevention Strategy.
"Dr. Murthy demonstrates a clear and thoughtful understanding of how important it is to transform our health care system from one focused on sick care to one based on wellness, good health practices and early intervention," said Wergin in his statement. "Dr. Murthy has the experience, vision, and passion to serve as our next surgeon general."