- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2009

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job of surgeon general, senior administration officials told NBC News on Thursday.

Gupta had been offered the job but was weighing the financial considerations, including a pay cut, that it would entail, NBC’s Chuck Todd reported. The Obama administration confirmed that Gupta, a neurosurgeon, had taken himself out of the running because he wants to focus on his medical career and spend more time with his family.

Gupta, 39, was seen as President Barack Obama’s first pick for the job. He would have brought star power to the office of surgeon general, which has lacked visibility since the days of C. Everett Koop in the Reagan administration.

Gupta hosts “House Call” on CNN, contributes reports to CBS News and writes a column for Time magazine. He is a neurosurgeon and is on the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. During the Clinton administration, he was a White House fellow and special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The surgeon general typically isn’t heavily involved in shaping an administration’s policy, but it can be a very effective bully pulpit. Past surgeons general have proved instrumental in battling tobacco and AIDS.


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