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Obama nominates Boston doctor as surgeon general

President Obama will nominate Dr. Vivek Murthy of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital as surgeon general of the United States, the White House announced Thursday night.

Murthy is a hospitalist at the Brigham and is co-founder and president of Doctors for America, a Washington, D.C.-based group of physicians and medical students that advocates for access to affordable, high quality health care.

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If he’s confirmed by the Senate, Murthy would replace acting surgeon general Boris Lushniak. The surgeon general serves a four-year term and the post is essentially a bully pulpit to speak out on public health issues.

The White House statement included this biography of Murthy:

“Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy is the Co-Founder and President of Doctors for America, a position he has held since 2009. Dr. Murthy is also a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a position he has held since 2006. In 2011, Dr. Murthy was appointed to serve as a Member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. Dr. Murthy has been the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of TrialNetworks, formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007. Dr. Murthy co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organization focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as President from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Murthy received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management, and an M.D. from Yale School of Medicine.”

Doctors for America Executive Director Dr. Alice Chen issued this statement:

“We congratulate Dr. Vivek Murthy on his nomination to be the next Surgeon General of the United States. He has a tremendous dedication and commitment to improving the lives and health of Americans. He has been a tireless leader in bringing together 16,000 doctors and medical students from all 50 states for the common cause of improving the health of the nation. He brings two decades of experience as a champion in improving health, building coalitions, and bringing diverse people together to bring better health to communities. We are confident Dr. Murthy will be an extraordinary leader for the nation and for improving the health of all Americans as Surgeon General.”

Gideon Gil can be reached at ggil@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeGideon.
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