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AMA Congratulates Dr. Regina Benjamin as Senate Committee Approves Her Surgeon General Nomination

For immediate release
Oct. 7, 2009

Statement attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The AMA congratulates Regina Benjamin, M.D. on her approval from the Senate HELP committee to become the nation’s next surgeon general.  We urge the full Senate to quickly confirm Dr. Benjamin so that she can begin her work as an advocate for America’s patients.  As our country works for health reform that provides all Americans with affordable, high-quality health coverage, Dr. Benjamin brings the important perspective of a physician who has dedicated her life to caring for vulnerable patients to the surgeon general post.

“Dr. Benjamin’s many impressive accomplishments, including receiving a 2008 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the “genius grant,” leave no doubt as to her qualifications.  Her most important qualification for surgeon general is her deep commitment to her patients. We are particularly gratified to see her recognized for her work caring for patients in rural Alabama, and for her commitment to rebuilding her rural health clinic in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She is a true professional who puts her patients first.

“The AMA is immensely proud of Dr. Benjamin’s accomplishments, and we are extremely fortunate that she has just served a term as chair of the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.  She served as a member of the AMA’s Board of Trustees with the dual distinctions of being the AMA’s first young physician trustee, as well as the first African-American woman board member.”