Sanjay Gupta out of running as Obama’s surgeon general

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : Sanjay Gupta, an Indian American neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, who was one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive” in 2003, is out of running as surgeon general of the United States.

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“Sanjay Gupta was under serious consideration for the job of surgeon general,” an Obama administration official was cited as saying by CNN in an e-mail Thursday.

“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,” the official said.

Media reports citing sources said in January that Gupta met then president-elect Barack Obama in Chicago, Illinois, in November to discuss the post. Gupta has declined comment.

The Michigan-born son of parents who immigrated from India, Gupta has always been drawn to health policy. He was a White House fellow in the late 1990s, writing speeches and crafting policy for then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

Gupta is a member of the staff and faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He regularly performs surgery at Emory University Hospital and at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he serves as associate chief of neurosurgery.

Gupta joined CNN in 2001. As chief medical correspondent for the health and medical unit, he is a lead reporter on breaking medical news, provides regular health and medical updates for “American Morning,” anchors the half-hour weekend medical affairs programme “House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta” and reports for CNN documentaries.

Based in Atlanta, Gupta also contributes health stories to, co-hosts “Accent Health” for Turner Private Networks, provides medical segments for the syndicated version of “ER” on TNT and writes a column for Time magazine.

He also anchors the global health programme “Vital Signs” for CNN International and is featured in a weekly podcast on health issues called “Paging Dr. Gupta.”

Just after joining CNN, Gupta became part of the team covering the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Later that year, he led breaking news reporting on a series of anthrax attacks.

In 2003, Gupta reported from Iraq and Kuwait as an embedded correspondent with the US Navy’s medical unit-and worked alongside them, performing brain surgery five times.

Gupta also reported from Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the tsunami that swept the region in December 2004. He also helped cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2005.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical Centre.