December 2014 \ World News \ America's Doctor

  • Dr Vivek Hallegere Murthy

Vivek Hallegere Murthy has made history as the youngest US Surgeon General and the first of Indian descent with his Senate confirmation in the teeth of strong opposition of powerful gun lobby.

The Democratic controlled Senate voted 51-43 to confirm Murthy, 37 as 'America's doctor' more than a year after his nomination with the Republicans dead set against him because of his support for gun control and President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

Born in England, Murthy moved with his Indian parents to Miami when he was three. He would become the leading US spokesperson on matters of public health. He will also be the operational head of the 6,500-strong US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the seven uniformed services including army, navy, air force and marines.

Murthy, a bachelor, has said he will focus on preventing chronic diseases, efforts to curb smoking, and programmes to improve diets and combat obesity. Applauding the Senate for confirming Murthy, Obama said "as 'America's Doctor,' Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe."