Blogger says choosing Gupta as next US Surgeon General is a good choice

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Washington, Jan.8 (ANI): A blogger, Dr. Manny Alvarez, has welcomed U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's decision to appoint Indian Sanjay Gupta as the country's next Surgeon-General."I'm happy for Dr. Sanjay Gupta. His consideration for surgeon general of the United States is good news for health care," Alvarez was quoted, as saying.

Alvarez further goes on to say that prior to 1968, the Office of Surgeon General was the administrative office for health care policy for the U.S. government.

"After that it was disbanded and the position of surgeon general became ineffective because it didn't create any major changes in health care," he adds.

Other than C. Everett Koop, who was a very forceful voice for the anti-smoking campaign and really the first person to take on the tobacco industry and say that cigarette smoking kills you, surgeon generals have had very little effect for change, Alvarez said.

Alvarez, the Managing Editor of and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, listed four reasons why he thought the selection of Gupta was a good choice.

1. He's young. One of the things health care policy in this country needs is new ideas. Because Gupta is just 39 years old (he'll be 40 in October), he'll be able to bring some much needed energy to the position.

2. He's a practicing physician. Up until now, most surgeon generals have been academics. They go from being a chairman (of a university hospital) to a dean to surgeon general. Because Gupta is a practicing physician, he understands the issues facing hospitals, doctors and patients and will take a first-hand approach to solving these issues.

3. He's very good medical journalist. Gupta has had a very broad educational experience in the many facets of health care today facing the nation and the world. He didn't just come from academic medicine with only educational experiences. He has seen a very true reality of medicine in America today.

4. As a medical journalist myself - reading, investigating and meeting people from around the country, I have gotten a better education than all of my years of medical training. (ANI)

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