Contribute Try STAT+ Today

Prominent public health experts are pressuring President-elect Biden and his team to include a doctor or experienced health professional in the Cabinet — and growing increasingly alarmed this week that their warnings will go unheeded.

Several former state and local health officials, leaders of public health advocacy groups, and representatives from physician groups have placed calls to contacts advising Biden, drafted formal correspondence to the transition, or, in the case of numerous physician groups, worked to draft open letters stressing the necessity for Biden to appoint high-ranking officials with medical expertise.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT+ is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • I am a nurse and a healthcare government contractor. I work on projects for CMS, AHRQ, and CDC. We absolutely need a physician at the helm of HHS and CMS. The top sets the tone and understanding of the healthcare system for the lower level positions that, usually, don’t have a clue. We as contractors/health service researchers (Rand, Mathematic, etc.) spend too much time explaining when we could be making real changes in healthcare.

  • Good thought, but Ben Carson was a physician in the last administration cabinet and I don’t believe that helped much. Also, Rand Paul is an MD. The Biden administration will listen to real expert physicians. That is the critical issue.

  • The skill sets of physicians, nurses, and public health professionals and epidemiologists barely overlap anyway. The is a huge gap between those who seek to keep a patient well, and those who seek to keep a country well. So why is this a particular requirement for the cabinet? Is it that important, as no one person has even half of the universe of skills?

    • There are absolutely physicians and nurses who specifically work in public health, who HAVE developed those competencies (often via formal Master’s/doctoral-level training in public health) and consequently have experience both in the care of the individual and community. Not only is it impossible to brush over the vast and varied array of physician/nurse skillsets (which you’re minimizing with your false dichotomy of a “huge gap between those who seek to keep a patient well, and those who seek to keep a country well”), but it’s also offensive that you’d minimize the accomplishments of physicians and nurses who ARE specialists in public health and would be an excellent fit for such a role.

      From ghastly COVID-19 stats or developing-country maternal mortality rates, the US clearly needs qualified providers who have the experience and the proven track record to turn this ailing country around.

  • Could be a good idea…but one also needs to be very careful whom he picks…as well as making it clear that direct contact from other Medical People will be allowed and encouraged, in order to assure a wide spectrum of ideas and facts….rather than just depending one one mind to keep him informed on medical matters.

Comments are closed.