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Indian-American docs pitch for Murthy's confirmation as surgeon general

February 04, 2014 11:18 IST

An influential group of Indian American doctors has campaigned at the Capitol Hill for Dr Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama for the post of surgeon general of the United States.

On the eve of his confirmation hearing, a strong delegation of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin met eminent Senators to lobbying for the quick confirmation of 36-year-old Murthy.

If confirmed by the Senate, Murthy would not only be the first-ever Indian-American to occupy this post but also the youngest ever surgeon general of the US.

Flying in from various parts of the country, the group of Indian-American doctors met with Senators Tim Scott, Mike Enzi, Lamar Alexander, Mark Kirk, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts, and Rand Paul. They also appealed to Senators Richard Burr and Richard Burr for Murthy's nomination vote.

"The nomination of Murthy as the US surgeon general cements the reputation physicians of Indian origin have across America," said Jayesh Shah, AAPI president. "We are proud of Vivek and his many accomplishments and look forward to supporting him throughout the confirmation process."

The position, if confirmed, will make Murthy 19th surgeon general for an office that was established in 1871 in the US. As the surgeon general, Murthy will be the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the US and the operational head of the 6500-strong US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States that includes the army, the navy, the air force and the marines.

"Murthy would be an inspiring surgeon general who would bring a unifying message about prevention to communities around the country," said Sampat Shivangi.

"He would be a thoughtful partner for the public and elected officials from both parties to lead the nation in moving toward better health for all," said AAPI president-elect Ravi Jahagirdar.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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