Good Medicine

From the Los Angeles Times:

President Obama announced Monday that he would nominate Dr. Regina M. Benjamin — a family physician who founded a health clinic in a small, shrimp-farming town in Alabama — to be the nation’s surgeon general.

Original DVD cover.

Benjamin in 1995 became the first black woman and the youngest doctor elected to the board of the American Medical Assn. Last year she received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for treating patients in the Gulf Coast region regardless of their ability to pay.

Benjamin, 52, founded a rural clinic in Bayou La Batre, Ala., a town of about 2,500. Many of the residents lack health insurance, and about a third are immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.


Since starting the clinic in 1990, Benjamin has worked to rebuild it three times: in 1998, after it was devastated by Hurricane Georges; in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina; and after an early-morning fire in January 2006.

During the rebuilding, Benjamin made house calls to patients in her pickup truck, according to news accounts. She mortgaged her house and maxed out her credit cards to rebuild the clinic the second time, Obama said in introducing her at a Rose Garden ceremony.


The president, who is working with Democratic leaders in Congress on a major overhaul of U.S. healthcare, said Benjamin “has seen in a very personal way what is broken about our healthcare system” — such as patients who lack insurance, costly diseases that could have been prevented and the shortage of primary care physicians in rural areas.

Benjamin called the nomination “a physician’s dream” and said: “I want to ensure that no one, no one, falls through the cracks as we improve our healthcare system.”

Benjamin holds a master’s in business administration in addition to a medical degree.


If confirmed by the Senate for the four-year term, Benjamin will be America’s leading spokeswoman on issues of public health.


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16 responses to “Good Medicine

  1. It sounds like her heart is in the right place during a time when the health care industry could certainly use it.

  2. Superbright • Compassionate • Female

    Do I sense a shift away from white guys in ties in high places?


  3. She sounds perfectly fine, so of course I have to wonder how long it will be before the right wingers question her intellect, work history, prejudices, genetic makeup, accounting principles, diaper changing techniques, whether she changes lanes with her blinker on or not, if she uses emoticons, etc.

  4. jeb

    Remember how they slimed Jocelyn Elders? These people are the scum of the earth and I’m sure once Rush tells them what’s wrong with her (besides the obvious big two of race and gender) they’ll get busy. Just like when I watched the news accounts yesterday and saw that Jeff Sessions couldn’t stop interjecting his bigoted views into the Sotamayor hearings.

    • they fear teh science!

      it looks like tom coburn, the ob/gyn for men, has been channeling his inner ricky ricardo. seriously, are these guys really that stupid? it’s like they have no filters. do they fart in public, too?

  5. Sounds like a great choice.. I haven’t had a chance to read up on her much… but what little I have read, she sounds great.. As you said, the rethugs will find something I am sure and she will be smeared from here to Sunday… Haven’t checked Media Matters..but of course most of the coverage is about Sotomayor so far anyway…they haven’t had a chance to pick on this one yet…lol

    • they’ll get to her, too, annette. i was reading one of the articles about her and some of the comments by readers. there was one from someone who identified himself as a die-hard rethug who said he thinks there could not have been a better choice. go figure.

  6. Well, for my own part, I think she’s a fine choice.

    Then again, I back Judge Sotomayor, too.

    The only criticism I’ve heard of her, even from the Way Right, is that she was a member of some group (the name escapes me) that supports the liberalization of abortion rights worldwide. I noted that we have a pro-choice President. You might as well accept that we’re going to have a pro-choice Surgeon General. If you can’t accept that, then you’re out of luck.

    I’ve also tried to remind people on the Right to remember that if they sink this nominee, there’s another one coming. Do you really think you’ll do better?

    • i was just over at your place looking at your precious babies. 😀

      you know what gets me, wickle? both benjamin and soso ( 😆 sonia sotomayor’s nickname that i read on the internets) are brilliant women. yet, they will be ridiculed by the same people who swear up and down that princess sarah is a genius. 🙄

      i understand that there are some people who have ideological differences with them on certain issues, but is there anyone out there with whom we agree 100% of the time? soso is not a raging militant. she’s very mainstream. benjamin is someone who will bring science and common sense back. i think that’s a good thing.

      • This is too much common sense for me.

        Are we still allowed to use that term? Glenn Beck has been trying to grab it.

        Anyway … You’re right. Too many people treat ideological agreement as a mark of intelligence. There are brilliant liberals, conservatives, libertarians, Communists, and everything else. There are also stupid liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and Communists.

        But, yes, people say Gov. Palin is a genius and then deride Judge Sotomayor. That requires more cognitive dissonance than my mind can handle.

        I think that the biggest problem is that the Republican “leaders” don’t have the courage to stand up to the shock jocks. So, they have to pretend that they think Judge Sotomayor hates white people and the Constitution because Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck say she does. I think that even they know this malarkey isn’t true (which is why they didn’t do anything when Pres. G. H. W. Bush nominated her during his term), but they don’t dare stand up to the ignorant ravings on the AM dial.

        Well, that was a digression …

        I figure on the ideological points, I have to be realistic. If these are the kinds of nominees Pres. Obama intends to advance, then real conservatives (if there are any left) should be content. They have ideas, but they’re hardly wild-eyed radicals. That, however, isn’t how one builds a radio audience.

        • you’ve hit the nail on the head, wickle. this is all about the rethug party being run right out of rushbo’s studio and faux news. rushbo knows better, but he cares only about his own glorification. glenn beck is an idiot who waits for someone to tell him what to think.

          while i diss the rethugs, i honestly wish that there were still some around with common sense who don’t shake in their boots every time rushbo’s name is invoked. i miss good debate about substance rather than nonsense.