Gupta's Right Doc for Political Prime Time
CNN's medicine man will help push preventive health care message, Park notes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2009 4:41 AM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama's choice of CNN's health correspondent as his surgeon general is raising eyebrows, but the pick underlines Obama's plans to focus on preventive care, Alice Park writes in Time. The telegenic Sanjay Gupta, while lacking the government experience most surgeon generals have brought to the job, has anchored specials urging Americans to live healthier lives and seems like a natural choice to bring that message to the nation, Park notes.

The office of the surgeon general has always served as a soapbox for promoting healthy living goals, like C. Everett Koop's antismoking campaign, Park adds. With Gupta's focus on preventing obesity and its associated ills, it will send a strong message to lawmakers and the public that "the health of the US cannot be fixed until we stop focusing only on health care and get serious about health," Park concludes.