Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 18th United States Surgeon General in July, 2009 and served a four-year term. Dr. Benjamin also oversaw the operational command of 6,700 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, and protect the health of the American People. Dr. Benjamin served simultaneously as Surgeon General and as the first chair of the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (National Prevention Council) ─ 17 cabinet-level Federal agencies that developed the road map for the Nation’s health – The National Prevention Strategy.
Before becoming “America’s Doctor,” she served her patients at the rural health clinic she founded in tiny, Bayou La Batre, Alabama, keeping the clinic in operation despite damage and destruction inflicted by Hurricanes Georges (1998) and Katrina (2005) and a devastating fire (2006).
She has a B.S. in chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, an M.D. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an M.B.A. from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Georgia. Dr. Benjamin is the recipient of 22 honorary degrees.
She is former associate dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile and past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. In 1995, she was the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She served as president of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation and chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. In 2002, she became the first African-American female president of a state medical society in the United States when she assumed leadership of the Medical Association State of Alabama.
[1:06] The purpose of the FDA and the importance of adult vaccinations
[3:30] The startlingly low rates of vaccinations among adults
[5:55] Dr Benjamin addresses the vaccination debate and why we need to build up trust as a society
[7:53] What Dr Benjamin is proudest of from her term as the 18th US Surgeon General
[10:12] The obesity epidemic in America and what can be done