Paging Dr. Gupta

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    Mar 06, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
    Dr. Sanjay Gupta has decided not to answer the President's call to serve his country as Surgeon-General. Is that a dis? Isn't he being kind of cheesy? Isn't it a bit strange for the announcement that he was being considered to be made without it already being settled that he would accept in the first place? This is the second public snub from an Obama admin nominee. Gupta gave the usual excuse of "family reasons" but some say he didn't want to take the pay cut.

    What do you think?
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    Mar 06, 2009 8:45 PM GMT
    The surgeon-general serves as the nation's leading spokesman on matters of public health. He does not have executive authority such as running the FDA, CDC, Medicare and such. Since he is a news reporter for CNN and CBS, he would have the right communication skills for the job. Dr Gupta has come under attack by various political groups. One big criticism is that he works closely with the pharmaceutical industry and that would bias his positions. Dr Gupta is a neurosurgeon and if he would serve in the four year post; he would not be able to perform surgery. He would lose his surgical skills and for a dedicated surgeon this is a tough choice to make. Dr Gupta would also have to take a pay cut since he would no longer be a surgeon and work in broadcasting. He probably feels it is not worth being grilled in congressional hearings.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Mar 06, 2009 9:54 PM GMT
    JP, Surgeon General is basically a ceremonial position. Gupta wouldn't have had much power, it's more of a cheerleader position. But I'm glad he turned it down, for whatever reason. I don't dislike him, I just think he'd be a distraction.
  • jvmssi

    Posts: 2

    Mar 06, 2009 10:03 PM GMT
    First and foremost he did not want to put his family through all the mess of confirmation hearings, and secondly why would he want to take that much of a pay cut the man has a mortgage and expenses.
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    Mar 06, 2009 10:10 PM GMT
    jprichva saidI think the ties to the pharmaceutical industry would make him a lightning rod, and he didn't want to subject himself to the scrutiny.

    He's completely within his rights not to want all of his laundry--clean or dirty--aired in public. Frankly, I don't know how anyone withstands that kind of thing.


    Aha! I think you nailed it. He must have wanted the job or else he wouldn't have allowed his name to be put out there. But when it came to the vetting process something came up that would never have cleared the hearings - like he had some illegal alien housekeeper or he takes freebies from big pharma or tax issues.
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    Mar 06, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    "Family reasons" = I'll feel dead broke making only $153,000 a year.

    It's likely that Gupta currently makes around $3 million a year or more. Duty to one's country is a noble thing, but I'd wonder about his mental health if he willingly took that kind of pay cut.

    So, "family reasons" probably means his wife was threatening to cut his nuts off if he took it.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Mar 09, 2009 11:06 PM GMT
    It might also be more than a matter of money.

    Gupta doesn't really share Obama's position on universal health care. Why become a cheerleader for a policy you're not a fan of?
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    Mar 10, 2009 1:41 AM GMT
    I'v had the dis-pleasure of meeting Gupta, and i'm sure the reduction in pay was the reason..The guy makes alot of loot, why would anyone take a position over money...I wouldnt..!!!.
    He's also a pompus ass....