Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta
Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta MD
Born October 23, 1969 (1969-10-23) (age 42)
Novi, Michigan, United States[1]
Alma mater University of Michigan Health System (Residency),
University of Michigan Medical School (M.D.),
University of Michigan (B.S.)
Occupation Academic, journalist and neurosurgeon
Spouse Rebecca Olson Gupta
Children Sage Ayla Gupta,
Sky Anjali Gupta,
Soleil Asha Gupta
Parents Subhash Gupta (father),
Damyanti Gupta (mother)

Sanjay Gupta (play /ˈsɑːn ˈɡptə/ sahn-jay goop-tə; born October 23, 1969) is an American neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Known as a media personality on health-related issues, he is best known as CNN's chief medical correspondent, hosting the network's weekend health program Sanjay Gupta, M.D., and making frequent appearances on their American Morning, Larry King Live and Anderson Cooper 360° programs. His reports from Charity Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina helped the hospital to win a 2006 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast". Additionally, Gupta publishes a column in Time magazine and is a special correspondent for CBS News. His books Chasing Life and Cheating Death were New York Times and national bestsellers.[2][3]

From 1997 to 1998, he served as one of fifteen White House Fellows, primarily as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. In January 2009, it was reported that Gupta was offered the position of Surgeon General of the United States in the Obama administration,[1] but he withdrew his name from consideration.[4] In January 2011, he was named "one of the 10 most influential celebrities" by Forbes magazine.[5]


Life and career


Gupta was raised in Novi, Michigan, in suburban Detroit. His parents, Subhash and Damyanti Gupta, moved from India to Michigan, along with his older brother, Yogesh Gupta, to work as engineers for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan in the 1960s. His mother was the first female engineer to work in Ford Motor Company. He graduated from Novi High School in 1986. Gupta received his Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1993. He was part of Inteflex, a seven-year program combining pre-medical and medical school that accepted students directly from high school. As an undergraduate, he worked as an orientation leader for the freshman orientation program, and was a member of the Men's Glee Club. He completed his residency in neurological surgery within the University of Michigan Health System in 2000.[6]

Broadcast journalism

In 2003, Gupta traveled to Iraq to cover the medical aspects of 2003 invasion of Iraq. While in Iraq, Gupta performed emergency surgery on both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Gupta was embedded with a Navy medical unit at the time. A Marine named Jesus Vidana suffered a severe head injury, and the Marines asked for Gupta's assistance because of his background in neurosurgery. Vidana survived and was sent back to the United States for rehabilitation.[7]

Gupta was named one of the Sexiest Men of 2003 by People magazine.[2]

In December 2006, CBS News president Sean McManus negotiated a deal with CNN that would have Gupta file up to ten reports a year for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and 60 Minutes while remaining CNN's chief medical correspondent and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital.

On October 14, 2007, Gupta guest-hosted a health episode of CBS News Sunday Morning as its regular host Charles Osgood was on vacation. In February 2009, Gupta hosted AC360 covering the White House Health Summit. He also guest hosted Larry King Live in October 2009. In January 2010, Gupta and Cooper led CNN's coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. Gupta has regularly appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman,[8] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[9] The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,[10] Real Time with Bill Maher and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[11] Winfrey referred to Gupta as CNN's hero in January 2010.[12]

Surgeon General candidate

On January 6, 2009, CNN announced that Gupta had been offered the position of Surgeon General by President Barack Obama.[13]

Some doctors said that his communication skills and high profile would allow him to highlight medical issues and prioritize medical reform. However, others raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest with drug companies who have sponsored his broadcasts and his lack of skepticism in weighing the costs and benefits of medical treatments.[14][dead link]

Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), wrote a letter opposing Gupta's nomination. Conyers supports a single-payer health care system, the sort that Conyers' filmmaker friend Michael Moore advocated in his documentary Sicko; Gupta has criticized Moore and the film.[15]

Others, such as liberal commentator Jane Hamsher, defended the appointment, noting that Gupta's responsibilities as a surgeon general would be not that different from those of his CNN position, and that Gupta's media presence would make him ideal for the position.[16] From the medical community, Donna Wright, of Creative Health Care Management, a regular commentator on medicine and politics, also defended the appointment on the grounds of his media presence, combined with his medical qualifications, which she viewed as an ideal combination for the post of surgeon general.[17] Likewise, Fred Sanfilippo, executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University, supported Gupta's nomination by issuing a press release saying, "He has the character, training, intelligence and communications skills needed to help the United States improve its health and health care delivery systems in the next Administration."[18] The American Council on Exercise, listed by PR Newswire as "America's leading authority on fitness and one of the largest fitness certification, education and training organizations in the world", endorsed the nomination of Gupta "because of his passion for inspiring Americans to lead healthier, more active lives." The ACE sent a letter of support to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.[19] Former surgeon general Joycelyn Elders also supported Gupta's nomination, saying "He has enough well-trained, well-qualified public health people to teach him the things he needs to do the job."[20] In March 2009 Gupta withdrew his name from consideration for the post, citing his family and his career.[4]

Personal life

Gupta is married to Rebecca Olson, a family law attorney. They were married in 2004 in a Hindu wedding ceremony.[21] They have three daughters.[22]

Medical practice

Gupta is an Emory Healthcare general neurosurgeon at Grady Memorial Hospital and has worked on spine, trauma and 3-D-image-guided operations. He has published medical journal articles on percutaneous pedicle screw placement,[23][24] brain tumors, and spinal cord abnormalities.[25][26] He is licensed to practice medicine in New York, Michigan, Georgia and South Carolina.[27]

Gupta (third from left) with Henri Ford (second from left) and two U.S. Navy doctors operating on a 12-year-old girl aboard the USS Carl Vinson.[28]

During his reporting in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, Gupta received a call from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson that an earthquake victim, a 12-year-old girl, was aboard and needed a neurosurgeon. Gupta, pediatric surgeon Henri Ford, and two U.S. Navy doctors removed a piece of concrete from the girl's skull in an operation performed aboard the Vinson.[29][30] Ford later wrote that Gupta "proved to be a competent neurosurgeon."[31]


Criticism of reporting

Some journalists and journalism professors specializing in health care have criticized Gupta's coverage. Trudy Lieberman, a regular Nation contributor on healthcare and director of the health and medicine reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,[32] reviewed Gupta's "ineptitude" in reporting on the McCain health plan. Lieberman criticized Gupta for relying on insurance industry statistics, and a health expert quoted by Lieberman said that Gupta's reporting “gives a gross oversimplification."[33]

Peter Aldhous criticized Gupta's "enthusiasm for many forms of medical screening – even when the scientific evidence indicates that it may not benefit patients." He and other medical journalists accuse him of a "pro-screening bias" in promoting widespread electrocardiogram and prostate cancer screening, even though medical authorities like the US Preventive Services Task Force recommend against it.[34]

Others have criticized Gupta's promotion of Merck's cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, without disclosing the financial arrangements between CNN and Merck.[35]

Gary Schwitzer, professor of health journalism at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, has also criticized Gupta's reporting.[36][37]

Michael Moore dispute

A July 9, 2007, broadcast of CNN's The Situation Room aired a fact-check segment by Gupta on Michael Moore's 2007 film Sicko in which Gupta stated that Moore had "fudged facts".[38]

Immediately following the segment, Moore was interviewed live on CNN by Wolf Blitzer. Moore said that Gupta's report was inaccurate and biased, and Moore later posted a detailed response on his website.[39] Moore accused CNN of being biased in favor of the drug industry because most of the sponsors for their medical coverage were drug companies.

On July 10, 2007, Gupta debated Moore on Larry King Live; on July 15, CNN released a statement in response to Michael Moore's rebuttal.[40] In it, they apologized for an error in their on-air report, having stated that in the film Moore reported Cuba spends $25 per person for health care when the film actually gave that number as $251. CNN attributed this to a transcription error. CNN defended the rest of Gupta's report and issued a point-by-point response to Moore's response in which CNN contended that Moore's comparison of data from different sources in different years was in effect "cherry picking" results, at the cost of statistical accuracy.

See also


  1. ^ a b Kurtz, Howard (January 6, 2009). "Obama Wants Journalist Gupta for Surgeon General". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "CNN Programs: Anchors/Reporters: Sanjay Gupta". CNN. 
  3. ^ "CNN Medical Correspondent to Serve as Pritzker Commencement Speaker". Pritzker School of Medicine. May 23, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Gupta Opts Out of Surgeon General Consideration". CNN. March 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Forbes 10 Most Influential Celebrities". Forbes. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
  6. ^ "CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta, M.D., to give address at Medical School commencement", University of Michigan, 1 May 2009.
  7. ^ Gupta, Sanjay (May 22, 2007). "Gupta: Saving Lives on the Front Lines". CNN. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Dr. Sanjay Gupta on The Late Show with David Letterman". Zimbio. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Rose McGowan/Dr. Sanjay Gupta/Charlie Daniels Episode Summary". May 10, 2005. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Episode Summary". April 28, 2003. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Patient Checklist". January 15, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Oprah Winfrey Calls Sanjay Gupta 'CNN’s hero'",, 19 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Sources: CNN's Gupta Approached for Surgeon General". CNN. January 6, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2009. "The Obama transition team approached Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, about becoming U.S. surgeon general, according to sources inside the transition and at CNN." 
  14. ^ Neergaard, Lauran (January 7, 2009). "CNN: Gupta Approached about Surgeon General Post". Associated Press. Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 8, 2009. "The pair raised questions about drug-company sponsorship of some programs Gupta hosted [...] and [...] urged careful examination of any potential conflicts of interest." 
  15. ^[dead link] Hooper, Molly K. (January 8, 2009). "Conyers's Opposition to Gupta Is Connected to Michael Moore". The Hill.
  16. ^ Hamsher, Jane (January 9, 2009). "In Defense of the Sanjay Gupta Appointment". Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  17. ^ Wright, Donna (January 13, 2009). "Gupta Good Choice for Surgeon General". The Bradenton Herald. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  18. ^ White, Christina (January 19, 2009). "Gupta Named Top U.S. Doctor". The Emory Wheel. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  19. ^ Press release (January 27, 2009). "American Council on Exercise (ACE) Endorses Appointment of Dr. Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General of the United States". PR Newswire. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  20. ^ SteveK (February 20, 2009). "Gupta Gets Endorsement From Controversial Former SG". TVNewser. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Setting – Sanjay Gupta & Rebecca Olson". InStyle. March 17, 2010.,,20352342_20352309_20756942,00.html. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  22. ^ Bell, Debra (January 9, 2009). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Sanjay Gupta". US News and World Report. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  23. ^ Foley, Kevin T.; Gupta, Sanjay K.; Justis, Jeff R.; Sherman, Michael C. (April 2001). "Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Fixation of the Lumbar Spine" (PDF; requires Adobe Acrobat). Neurosurgical Focus (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) 10 (4): E10. doi:10.3171/foc.2001.10.4.11. ISSN 1092-0684. PMID 16732626. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  24. ^ Foley, Kevin T.; Sanjay K., SK (July 2002). "Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation of the lumbar spine: preliminary clinical results" (PDF; requires Adobe Acrobat). Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) 97 (1): 7–12. doi:10.3171/spi.2002.97.1.0007. ISSN 1547-5654. PMID 12120655. Retrieved January 8, 2009. [dead link]
  25. ^ Tumialán, Luis M.; Walkup, Raymond R.; Gupta, Sanjay K. (May 2008). "Minimally Invasive Retrieval of a Bullet from the L5-S1 Neural Foramina after Transperitoneal Gunshot Wound: Technical Report". The Spine Journal (Elsevier) 9 (2): 169–173. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2008.03.008. ISSN 1529-9430. PMID 18468958. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  26. ^ Tumialán, Luis M.; Lin, Franklin; Gupta, Sanjay K. (August 2006). "Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis Causing Serratia Marcescens and Proteus Mirabilis Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Infection. Case Report" (PDF; requires Adobe Acrobat). Journal of Neurosurgery (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) 105 (2): 320–324. doi:10.3171/jns.2006.105.2.320. ISSN 0022-3085. PMID 17219841. Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  27. ^ "NYS Professions – Online Verifications". July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Haiti struggles with death and destruction after catastrophic earthquake". LIFE. Jan 18, 2010. Retrieved Oct 11, 2011. 
  29. ^ Thompson, Jason (Jan 18, 2010). "Sanjay Gupta assists Vinson medical team". US Navy. Retrieved Oct 10, 2011. 
  30. ^ Agence France-Presse (Jan 20, 2011). "TV neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta saves girl". The Australian. Retrieved Oct 10, 2011. 
  31. ^ Ford, Henri R. (2011). "Answering the call to action: response to the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010". Surgical Infections 12 (2): 89–98. Retrieved Oct 10, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Trudy Lieberman's biography page". The Nation. Retrieved January 11, 2009. 
  33. ^ Lieberman, Trudy (October 27, 2008). kjh paging_dr_gupta.php?page=all "Campaign Desk, Paging Dr. Gupta, How CNN's Doc Misdiagnosed McCain's Health Plan", Columbia Journalism Review.
  34. ^ Aldhous, Peter (January 8, 2009). "Should a TV News Doctor be US Surgeon General?". Blog of New Scientist.
  35. ^ Martens, Pam (July 20, 2007). "CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Laura Bush and the Marketing of Merck's Gardasil: Doctoring the News", CounterPunch.
  36. ^ CNN's one-sided view of mammography controversy, Schwitzer health news blog, April 8, 2007.
  37. ^ "Sanjay Gupta" at Schwitzer health news blog.
  38. ^ "CNN's Dr. Gupta looks at 'Sicko' and Some Facts Are Incorrect", The Situation Room, Aired July 9, 2007–1900ET.
  39. ^ "'SiCKO' Truth Squad Sets CNN Straight". Michael Moore. July 10, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2007. 
  40. ^ "Michael Moore, Dr. Gupta Square Off over 'Sicko'". CNN. July 10, 2007. 

External links

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