Meet Vivek Murthy: The Controversial Surgeon General
The doctor has been among the hardest nominees for Obama to get confirmed.
— -- At 37 years old, Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy has made history today as the youngest appointed US Surgeon General and the first of Indian descent.
The Senate voted tonight 51-43 to confirm Murthy as America’s top doctor after the position was vacant for over a year. Here are seven facts you should know about the 19th US Surgeon General:
1. He was born in England to immigrant parents.
Murthy’s parents are from South India, but he grew up in Miami. Throughout his life, he has made frequent visits to his parents’ homeland, according to an interview in Harvard Magazine.
2. He wanted to be in the medical field since he was a kid.
His father was a family practitioner in Miami and, as a young boy, Murthy would spend time in his father’s clinic. It was how he developed a love for medicine and science.
3. He’s wicked smart.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital physician did his undergrad at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in three years' time. He didn’t stop there. Murthy got a combined medical and business degree from Yale. He was also valedictorian of his high school.
4. The NRA did not want him appointed.
There was dispute in the spring when Obama first nominated Murthy. The NRA is against Dr. Murthy as Surgeon General because he holds anti-gun beliefs, which he has made known on Twitter.
As a result of the NRA’s intense opposition, the White House had to pull back on Dr. Murthy’s nomination earlier this year.
5. He’s incredibly healthy.
6. He co-founded several organizations.
Along with his sister, Murthy founded a nonprofit organization, VISIONS Worldwide Inc, devoted to AIDS education in India. Murthy also created a system, TrialNetworks, that improves clinical trials so new drugs can marketed sooner and more safely. He’s a co-founder and president of Doctors for America.
7. He supports the Affordable Care Act.
Doctors for America was formerly known as Doctors for Obama. It’s an organization of 16,000 doctors and medical students whose goal is improving health-care access.
8. He’s a bachelor.
The young accomplished physician focuses on his work and his friends. Because Murthy is unmarried and has no children of his own, he sends gifts to his friends for special occasions and acts as the “single, honorary uncle.”
ABC News' Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.
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