October 30th, 2009
10:13 AM ET
10 years ago

Senate confirms Benjamin as surgeon general

Regina Benjamin was confirmed by the Senate Friday.

Regina Benjamin was confirmed by the Senate Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate has formally confirmed Dr. Regina Benjamin to be the U.S. surgeon general, making her only the third African American to hold the position as the nation's top doctor.

The Senate nod came by a voice vote Thursday night, an expression of unanimous consent of both parties.

The 53-year-old family practice doctor had spent most of her career tending to the needs of poor patients in a Gulf Coast clinic she founded two decades ago in Alabama.

She was the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association, and she just served a term as chairwoman of the group's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

Benjamin received a bachelor's degree in 1979 from Xavier University of Louisiana, attended Morehouse School of Medicine from 1980 to 1982, and received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984.

She completed her residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in 1987.

President Barack Obama called Benjamin "a relentless promoter" of programs to fight preventable illness when he nominated her in July.

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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. The Party of No = The Party of Nobody

    It's about time . . . how long have the Republican'ts been stonewalling on this confirmation??

    October 30, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. quarterback

    Let's see if Glen Beck can turn this into a conspiracy where African Americans in the Federal Government medical corps develop a strain of "angry white boy flu" designed specifically to kill conservative Anglos.

    Cry, Glen. Cry you little brained idiot. You'll be the first to go.

    October 30, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Debra Williams

    Good for her! Can we stop with the 1st black, 2nd black, 3rd black? That is still racism. She's a woman, she's qualified, she's American. That ought to be enough for everyone to embrace. Each time a person is described as an African American, Native American, Asian American, Latino (no white American is ever described as such) is another method of prolonging the race division. We are all Americans and should ALL be treated as such. No wonder we are still divided after 100 years.

    October 30, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. once upon a horse

    Perhaps one day will come when an African American or Hispanic American can get a high position and it won't be such a big deal. They'll just be AMERICANS that were chesen because they were qualified to do it and it won't be a landmark decision or we have to acknowledge their race and ethnicity. Maybe it will come in what Rush loves to call it OBAMA'S AMERICA!

    October 30, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. t22

    The biggest health problem in the country is obesity so it's nice to see that the President has appointed someone who can stand as an example of fitness. Oh, never mind!

    October 30, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Oh great..

    An overweight lard-ass as the surgeon general. Now that makes a lot of sense.

    October 30, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Jane/Seattle

    There exists only one criteria for true service to/for anything. That one element for successful resolution is ETHICAL LEADERSHIP AND IMPECCABLE CHARACTER/WORDS. If this wonderful lady maintains this she is home free. That goes for everything in Life. Thanks for your wonderful teachings, Don Miguel Ruiz. This is "The Four Agreements"! Peace

    October 30, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. D.R.S.

    I like his SG pick,looks like she will do a great job.We seen the president saluting at the airport with the troops.I noticed the hurt on his face.He has the most difficult decisions to make and it must be very hard for him,or anyone to make them.I am not an all out Obama supporter,however I care about him.He does listen to his commanders,the GOP should take note and give him credit when credits due.Sometimes he frustrates me and other times he makes me very proud.What will shock most people here is I like Palin.My heart does go out to him with my prayers,as he makes these tough decisions,that are about to come.

    October 30, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Tommygunn

    It is about TIME!!!!

    What was the HOLD-UP??? More Republicans saying NO.

    We SERIOUSLY need to get past partician politics as an elected government or nothing will get done other than major money being spent to advertisers and politicians support teams. Oh, that's what this is about paying for your elected official.

    When Democrats say "YES" Republicans say "NO" and the roles reverse when the other party becomes majority. As AMERICANs we ARE BETTER THAN THAT, because neither party will dismantle us.

    CONGRATULATIONS, Dr Benjamin!!!!

    October 30, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. good

    quit the party of 'no' stuff and get his confirmations done

    enough of the GOP bring the country down in ruins if I don't get my way stuff

    bunch of 3 year olds

    October 30, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Sue

    She's a great choice! Too bad FEMA didn't have more of her ilk after Katrina! Dr. Bengamin Rocks!

    October 30, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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