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Former Surgeon General discusses credibility and influence of ‘The Nation’s Doctor’

A commentary by America’s 16th Surgeon General, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., suggests that credibility is one of the most important qualities of an effective Surgeon General. Dr. Satcher discusses the history of the Office of the Surgeon General and the evolving role of “The Nation’s Doctor.” He contends that 50 years after the release of the first Surgeon General’s Report directly to the American people to warn about the dangers of tobacco use, the Office of the Surgeon General has gained credibility and influence.

Reports from the Surgeon General should educate, motivate, and mobilize the American people to act. And because those reports often influence policy, they should be based on scientific evidence and not the Surgeon General’s own politics, religion, or personal opinion. Dr. Satcher’s commentary is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.


Source: American College of Physicians