Surgeon General Benjamin Stepping Down

Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, has served in the post since late 2009 and is the 18th surgeon general in U.S. history.

Dr. Regina M. Benjamin tweeted June 13 that she is leaving her post as surgeon general of the United States. Benjamin, M.D., MBA, has served in the post since being confirmed on Oct. 29, 2009, after a noteworthy career, including becoming the first physician younger than 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association's Board of Trustees. She also served as president of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation and chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

Benjamin is the former associate dean for rural health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile and a past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. She has a B.S. degree in chemistry from Xavier University in New Orleans, an M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and an MBA from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Ga.

The surgeon general oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers. During its recent history, with some well-known physicians occupying the post, surgeons general have taken strong stands against smoking, urged Americans to be more active and prevent childhood obesity, and took a lead role in the early days of the fight against HIV and AIDS.

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