On December 15, the U.S. Senate voted 51-43 to confirm Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A, as the next surgeon general. Dr. Murthy was originally nominated in November 2013. The confirmation vote was among the last votes taken by the 113th Congress, which is expected to adjourn in the coming days for the holiday break.
Dr. Murthy will succeed Acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., who has held the position since Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A, stepped down in July 2013. Born in England, Dr. Murthy moved to the U.S. when he was three years old. He attended Harvard University before receiving an M.D. from Yale School of Medicine and an M.B.A. in Health Care Management from Yale School of Management. He completed his residency in internal medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Currently, Dr. Murthy is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and also a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Additionally, Dr. Murthy is a co-founder and president of Doctors for America, is co-founder and chairman of TrialNetworks, and served as President and Chairman of VISIONS Worldwide.
The Surgeon General is often referred to as “America’s Doctor” for his or her duty in “providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness or injury.” Falling within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this position has a four year term. Nominations are made by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.