Vivek Murthy

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Vivek Murthy
Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, USPHS.jpg
19th Surgeon General of the United States
In office
December 18, 2014 – April 21, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byBoris Lushniak (acting)
Succeeded byJerome Adams
Personal details
Vivek Hallegere Murthy

(1977-07-10) July 10, 1977 (age 41)
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Political partyDemocratic
Alice Chen (m. 2015)
EducationHarvard University (BS)
Yale University (MD, MBA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service USPHS Commissioned Corps
Years of service2014–2017
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral

Vivek Hallegere Murthy (born July 10, 1977) is an American physician and was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States.[1] Murthy, who founded the nonprofit Doctors for America, succeeded Boris Lushniak, who had been Acting Surgeon General since 2013.[1] Murthy was the first Surgeon General of Indian descent and, at age 37, was the youngest active duty flag officer in federal uniformed service when he assumed office.

Early life and education[edit]

Murthy was born in July 10, 1977,[2] in Huddersfield, England, to immigrants from Karnataka, India. When he was three years old, the family relocated to Miami, Florida,[2] where Murthy was raised and completed his early education, graduating as valedictorian from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1994.[3] He then attended college at Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in Biochemical Sciences.[3] In 2003, Murthy earned an MD from Yale School of Medicine and an MBA in Health Care Management from Yale School of Management, where he was a recipient of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.[4][5] He completed his residency in Internal Medicine in 2006 at Brigham and Women's Hospital.[6]


While a Harvard freshman in 1995, Murthy co-founded VISIONS Worldwide, which he led for eight years. The nonprofit organization focused on HIV/AIDS education in the U.S. and India. In 1997, he co-founded Swasthya Community Health Partnership to train women as community health workers in rural India.[5][7]

Medical career[edit]

Murthy completed his Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts where he also led and managed medical care teams for over a decade as a faculty member.[7]

He is also a founder and president of Doctors for America, a group of over 15,000 physicians and medical students supporting high quality affordable care for all.[8][9] As part of this work, he developed and led national and local initiatives around coverage and prevention.

In 2011, Murthy was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[10] The group advises the National Prevention Council on developing strategies and partnerships to advance the nation's health through prevention.[11]

Dr. Murthy is also the co-founder and chairman of TrialNetworks, a cloud-based Clinical Trial Optimization System for pharmaceutical and biotechnology trials that improves the quality and efficiency of clinical trials to bring new drugs to market faster and more safely.[12][13] He founded the company as Epernicus in 2008 to originally be a collaborative networking web platform for scientists to boost research productivity.[14]

Surgeon General of the United States[edit]

In November 2013, Murthy was nominated by President Obama for the post of United States Surgeon General.[14] His nomination met resistance in the Senate by some Democrats, Republicans and the National Rifle Association regarding previous comments Murthy made declaring gun violence as a threat to public health.[15][16][17]

Murthy's nomination received broad support from over 100 medical and public health organizations in the U.S., including the American College of Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association.[18] His nomination was also endorsed by numerous op-eds and editorial boards including The New England Journal of Medicine and The New York Times.[19][20] He received the endorsements of two former Surgeons General, David Satcher and Regina Benjamin.[citation needed] Another former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, opposed the appointment based on, at the time, Murthy's age and "very limited public health education and experience."[21][22]

On December 15, 2014, Murthy's appointment as Surgeon General was approved in a 51–43 Senate vote.[23]

On April 21, 2017, Murthy was fired by the newly elected President Trump. His deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams was named acting Surgeon General.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Dr. Murthy is married to Dr. Alice Chen, an internal medicine physician who trained at Yale, Cornell and UCLA and was the former executive director of Doctors for America.[25][26]


Office of HHS ID Badge.png Badge of the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal ribbon.png Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal
U.S. - USPHS Presidential Unit Citation.png Public Health Service Presidential Unit Citation
USPHS Global Response Service Award ribbon.png Public Health Service Global Response Service Award
Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon.png Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon
USPHS Commissioned Corps Training Ribbon.png Commissioned Corps Training Ribbon


  1. ^ a b Clark, Charles S. (December 23, 2014). "Health Service Marks Banner Year Without a Surgeon General". Government Executive. National Journal Group. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Straehley, Steve (December 25, 2014). "Surgeon General of the United States: Who Is Vivek Murthy?". Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Wen, Patricia; Bierman, Noah (November 16, 2013). "High praise at home for surgeon general nominee". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Brown, Nell Porter (September–October 2003). "'Medicine changes you.' Vivek Murthy '98 — Internal Medicine Resident - Boston". Harvard Magazine. Harvard Magazine Inc.: 36H. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Spring 1998 Fellows". Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. 1998. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  6. ^ "Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA". Brigham and Women's Hospital. 2013. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Biography of the Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A." U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Kenny, Steve (November 14, 2013). "Obama Selects Health Policy Advocate as Surgeon General". New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Obama Picks Vivek Hallegere Murthy For Surgeon General". Huffington Post. Reuters. November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Gil, Gideon (November 14, 2013). "Obama nominating Dr. Vivek Murthy of Harvard and Brigham and Women's as surgeon general". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  11. ^ "Prevention Advisory Group". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  12. ^ Larabee, John (October 22, 2013). "Needham's TrialNetworks rolls out platform to help drug developers with clinical trials". Boston Business Journal. American City Business Journals.
  13. ^ "TrialNetworks: Leadership". 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". The White House. November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  15. ^ Barnet, Shannon (December 16, 2014). "Dr. Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general". Becker's Hospital Review. Becker's Healthcare.
  16. ^ O'Keefe, Ed; Dennis, Brady (December 15, 2014). "Surgeon general nominee Vivek Murthy, opposed by gun lobby, confirmed". Washington Post.
  17. ^ Eilperin, Juliet (March 26, 2014). "Chances for Obama nominees to be confirmed are falling, even with over two years to go". Washington Post.
  18. ^ "More Than 100 National Organizations Demonstrate Strong Support for Dr. Vivek Murthy as the next Surgeon General". Trust for America's Health (Press release). November 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Curfman, Gregory D (May 8, 2014). "Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General". NEJM. 370: 1843–1844.
  20. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (2014-12-08). "Vote on Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General Nominee, May Be Near". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  21. ^ Murphy, Caleb (2015). "The Vivek Murthy precedent". The New Physician. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  22. ^ Carmona, Richard (28 March 2014). "Vivek Murthy shouldn't be confirmed as surgeon general". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  23. ^ Nolen, John (December 15, 2014). "Senate finally confirms Surgeon General nominee". CBS News. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  24. ^ "Surgeon general dismissed, replaced by Trump administration". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
  25. ^ "Doctors for America: Board of Directors". Doctors for America. 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  26. ^ "Indian-American Vivek Murthy takes over as U.S. Surgeon-General". The Hindu. April 24, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Boris Lushniak
Surgeon General of the United States
Succeeded by
Sylvia Trent-Adams