Vivek Murthy Sworn in as 19th United States Surgeon General

April 24, 2015|2:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

On April 22, Vivek Murthy was sworn in as the 19th surgeon general of the United States, the youngest individual to ever hold this position, at 37, and the first Indian American. Murthy replaces Boris Lushniak, who had served as acting surgeon general since 2013. Murthy is a practicing internist and faculty member at Harvard Medical School who was trained in internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine and completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also the founder of several medical nonprofits, including Doctors for America, an organization for physicians and medical students who advocate for healthcare reform.

Murthy plans to use his four-year term to focus on promoting healthy living, raising awareness of mental illness, increasing childhood vaccination rates, and preventing and reducing drug abuse. Murthy’s experiences treating patients who suffer from avoidable illnesses has informed his strong advocacy for prevention-based public health strategies, and he wishes to use his position to bring a health in all policies approach to the national conversation about health.

“If we are going to overcome the great health challenges our country faces right now, we have to do so with a coalition of leaders,” says Murthy. “This includes not only doctors, nurses, and health professionals, but also our employers, schools, faith-based organizations, civic institutions, and the various people and institutions in our country that actually impact decisions people make day to day." Murthy hopes to encourage employers to find ways to make physical activity a part of the work environment, and wants to reach out to faith leaders for assistance in lifting the continuing stigma surrounding mental illness.

For more information see these articles from The Washington Post and Vox.