Plastic Surgeon General

Salon’s Dr.Ayala has a post on the weird assertion that the Surgeon General of the United States is not qualified because she is not a babe. What do they want, an aerobics instructor? Never mind that the first name that comes to mind for most Americans when you say ‘Surgeon General’ is the substantial C. Everett Koop. We remember Dr.Koop because he showed leadership in the AIDS crisis, and has dedicated himself to health promotion since.

President Bush’s Anthony Carmona was rather studly, so he served that function well, but hardly a peep out of him in all his tenure. He was rumored to have a habit of yelling at nurses, but his mild reproof of the tobacco industry was saved for just before the door hit him on the way out. I have a thing for David Satcher, he was quietly effective and a strong advocate for mental health parity, but not a publicity seeker and did not become a media star.

I have high hopes for Dr.Benjamin. I will be very happy if she speaks out about the ‘Lack of Aid’ crisis we are suffering now, when a large section of our population cannot access primary and preventive medical care. Dr. Benjamin, I wish you good health and won’t gripe if you schedule some time at the gym. But we need you to put in long hours and breathe life into an office that has been left empty too long. Beauty is as beauty does.

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