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Indian steps down as Obama’s top doc

Indian-American Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and a practicing neurosurgeon, won't be America's top doctor. V Krishna reports.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2009 23:16 IST
V Krishna

Indian-American Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and a practicing neurosurgeon, won't be America's top doctor.

The neurosurgeon said Thursday that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for the job of surgeon-general.

While Gupta had not been formally nominated for the job, which requires Senate confirmation, he was believed to be President Barack Obama's top choice. The surgeon-general, who leads the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with the rank of vice-admiral, acts as the government's spokesperson on matters of public health.

“It was a really tough decision,” Gupta said Thursday on CNN's Larry King Live. “And I was incredibly flattered, humbled by the consideration even for the position.”

It had come down to timing, he said. He and his wife are expecting their third daughter, and he realised he would be away from his family for the next four years.

Gupta denied rumours that he declined the job because he didn't want to take a pay cut. “I’ve always been drawn to public service. So that really wasn't a consideration for me,” he said.