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Sources: CNN's Gupta approached for surgeon general

  • Story Highlights
  • Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Sanjay Gupta is CNN's chief medical correspondent
  • Obama team likes Gupta's combination of government, medical experience
  • Gupta member of faculty of Neurosurgery Department at Emory University
  • In 1997, Gupta was White House fellow and adviser to then-first lady Hillary Clinton
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(CNN) -- The Obama transition team approached Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, about becoming U.S. surgeon general, according to sources inside the transition and at CNN.

The Obama administration approached CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta about becoming U.S. surgeon general.

The Obama administration approached CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta about becoming U.S. surgeon general.

Gupta was in Chicago, Illinois, in November to meet with President-elect Barack Obama on the matter, sources said.

Gupta has declined comment.

The transition team is impressed with the combination of Gupta's past government experience, as a White House fellow in 1997 and a special adviser to then-first lady Hillary Clinton, along with his medical career as a neurosurgeon and his communication skills, the transition source said.

Gupta is a member of the staff and faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. He regularly performs surgery at Emory University Hospital and at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he serves as associate chief of neurosurgery. Video Watch CNN's John King report on Sanjay Gupta as possible surgeon general »

Fact Box

The Surgeon General serves as America's chief health educator, informing Americans how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.

The Office of the Surgeon General oversees the 6,000-member Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, one of America's seven uniformed branches of service. The service works to promote health, prevent disease and advance public health science. The office of the surgeon general is part of the Office of Public Health and Science in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

CNN released a statement saying, "Since first learning that Dr. Gupta was under consideration for the surgeon general position, CNN has made sure that his on-air reporting has been on health and wellness matters and not on health-care policy or any matters involving the new administration."

Gupta joined CNN in 2001. As chief medical correspondent for the health and medical unit, he is a lead reporter on breaking medical news, provides regular health and medical updates for "American Morning," anchors the half-hour weekend medical affairs program "House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta" and reports for CNN documentaries.

Based in Atlanta, Gupta also contributes health stories to CNN.com, co-hosts "Accent Health" for Turner Private Networks, provides medical segments for the syndicated version of "ER" on TNT and writes a column for Time magazine. He also anchors the global health program "Vital Signs" for CNN International and is featured in a weekly podcast on health issues called "Paging Dr. Gupta."

Just after joining CNN, Gupta became part of the team covering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Later that year, he led breaking news reporting on a series of anthrax attacks. Learn about notable past surgeon generals »

In 2003, Gupta reported from Iraq and Kuwait as an embedded correspondent with the U.S. Navy's medical unit -- and worked alongside them, performing brain surgery five times. iReport.com: Share your thoughts on Obama's cabinet picks

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In addition, Gupta reported from Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the tsunami that swept the region in December 2004. He also helped cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2005.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical Center.

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