Was anyone else as dismayed about the supposed choice for surgeon general as I was?
President-elect Obama approached CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta to be the country's next surgeon general, the cable network said Tuesday. CNN said it has kept Gupta from reporting on health care policy.
Perhaps he is a wonderful doctor, although who knows how many patients he sees during his busy schedule full of on-camera appearances and national magazine articles and who knows what else. And perhaps he has learned to temper his recommendations since 2006, when I first started to take issue with everybody's favorite sculpted and coiffed medical posterchild. Or since 2007. Hmm. Maybe not.

The AP article continues:
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 inSanjay Gupta 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.

Having such a well-known TV personality could bring the surgeon general attention not seen since C. Everett Koop help the position under President Ronald Reagan. Koop is best known for pushing to make AIDS a public health issue rather than a moral issue, and Reagan faced pressure to fire him. Koop has said Reagan never interfered.
What's next? Dr. Phil as the surgeon general? Was Dr. 90210 not available? Why not Dr. Pangloss, Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Zhivago? Here is a list of other doctors that Obama could have considered. I wonder if he'd still shill for CNN. He could change his CNN segment to "White House Call."