37-year-old Indian-American physician Vivek Hallegere Murthy has been confirmed as the 19th Surgeon General (top doctor) of America by US Senate.
Who is Vivek Hallegere Murthy?
- Dr Vivek Hallegere Murthy is the youngest Surgeon General in the history of United States of America.
- He is first person of Indian-origin to hold the post.
- Vivek was born in London and brought up in the USA.
- He did BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and an MD from Yale School of Medicine.
- Murthy is a hospitalist at the Brigham and is co-founder and president of Doctors for America.
- President Barack Obama had nominated his name for the prestigious post.
- Vivek Murthy will replace Regina Benjamin, who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2009 and left her post last summer.
- In 2011, he was appointed as a member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.
Vivek's India's connection
- Vivek is originally from Hallegere village in Maddur Taluk of Mandya district.
- He is the grandson of HT Narayan Shetty, a backward class leader and close associate of former Karnataka CM D Devaraj Urs.
- Reports say Vivek visits his village every year and has donated millions to promote education in his ancestral place.
What is ‘Doctors for America' group?
- Doctors for America is a Washington, DC-based group of 16,000 physicians and medical students that advocates for access to affordable, high quality health care.
- This group helped President Obama during election campaigning.
How Vivek Murthy got selected?
- The upper house of US Congress confirmed Murthy's nomination by 51 votes to 43 more than year after his nomination for the post.
- In November 2013, President Obama nominated him for the top doctor's post.
What would be his role?
- Murthy will serve as the US's top spokesperson on public health issues.
- The post focuses heavily on public health issues and the Surgeon General would advice the people of America on various health issues.
- Boris Lushniak has served as acting Surgeon General since July 2013.
Why his appointment held up for so long?
- Vivek's nomination had been in limbo for the last one year amid concerns about his experience, and opposition from gun lobby.
- Senators in both parties had questioned Vivek's small experience to handle the top job.
- Also, the powerful American gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA) opposed to his appointment terming him a "serious threat to the rights of gun owners" because of his support of tighter gun control laws.