50 Most Influential Physician Executives – 2016
U.S. surgeon general, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service
No need to book a conference room to meet with Dr. Vivek Murthy, the 19th U.S. surgeon general. His preference is to walk and talk. In fact, one of his goals is to move the American people to their feet, in part, by improving the "walkability" of the nation's neighborhoods. That mission has required him to broaden his focus beyond traditional public health messages. Since his confirmation in 2014 after a drawn-out process, he has spoken up about topics such as community violence and climate change. Murthy, 38, also has been forging creative partnerships. Last spring, he rolled out a series of public health announcements with Sesame Street's furry red Muppet Elmo to encourage vaccination. "My dream is that we get as good at preventing disease as we are at treating it," Murthy said. The internal medicine physician, Harvard professor and former president of the not-for-profit Doctors for America, is also a self-described "mango aficionado" and dreamer.