On June 29, 2017, President Trump nominated Dr. Jerome M. Adams, currently Indiana’s health commissioner, to be U.S. Surgeon General. Adams, who trained as an anesthesiologist, has been outspoken about the risks of prescription opioid painkillers and the need to address the opioid epidemic. A strong advocate of needle exchanges to avoid the spread of disease, Adams is often credited with helping to stop an unusual H.I.V. outbreak in a rural Indiana community that had spread largely among people injecting the prescription painkiller Opana.
Dr. Adams received bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and biopsychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1997. He then earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley, and a medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine.
If confirmed by the Senate, Adams would be the second health official from Vice President Mike Pence’s home state to join the Trump administration. Seema Verma, who helped shape Indiana’s Medicaid expansion, now leads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Adams would replace Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was dismissed by President Trump earlier this year.
The surgeon general, often called “the nation’s doctor,” works to improve public health and oversees 6,700 public health officers, many of which work in underserved areas. The position traditionally serves as a bully pulpit, with past surgeons general using it to campaign against issues such as tobacco, obesity and gun violence.
Impact on General Dentistry: AGD will continue to provide updates on Dr. Adams’ nomination as it moves through the Senate confirmation process.