Military expert as White House doctor

AmericaOn January 25, President Joe Biden appointed Kevin O’Connor, a veteran expert of the US military as a White House doctor.

O’Connor has been Biden’s primary health care physician since 2009, when he was Vice President in the early stages of the Obama administration. Before that, O’Connor served as a White House doctor under President George Bush, from 2006 to 2009.

Like his predecessors, Dr. O’Connor is responsible for protecting the health of the President, conducting surgery in emergencies. He is also responsible for comprehensive medical care for family members of the President, Vice President and more than 1.5 million visitors to the White House each year.

O’Connor has 22 years of experience as a doctor in the US military. In the process, he traveled to 70 countries. He used to work with the 82nd Airborne Division, the US Army’s 75th Commandos Regiment, the US Army Special Command, and fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. He received the Medal of Military Medicine, an award given to medical staff who fulfilled their responsibilities in the face of enemy fire.

Under Bush, O’Connor’s White House job lasted only three years. Shortly after Barack Obama was sworn in, Biden asked him to stay. O’Connor has remained the private doctor of the new President since then.

Dr. Kevin O’Connor (right) and President Joe Biden at the White House. Image: NYIT

Most White House doctors are military officers on active duty or have served in the military. Shortly after Obama ended his second presidency in 2017, O’Connor stopped serving in the military, serving as Biden’s doctor and George Washington University’s chief medical officer. In addition, he is an associate professor of medicine, senior medical advisor for the health science program at the American School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Dr. Lud Deppisch, pathologist and author of The White House Physician: A History from Washington to George W. Bush (White House Doctor: History from Washington to George W. Bush), commented on General The system of choosing a private doctor for this position is relatively normal.

“But seldom the President takes office with the same doctor who has taken care of them for more than a decade. It is difficult to bring personal doctors to Washington for two reasons. First is the low salary. The president is actually not very interesting. Nothing different. Under George Bush and Barack Obama everything was normal, “he said.

Even so, this position is still very important. “They have to stay with the President all the time. This is a huge and lasting responsibility,” he added.

Since 1928, the person in charge of providing health care for all presidents has been called the “White House doctor”. The position is currently part of the White House Medical Unit, established in 1945, under the Army Office. The role of “White House doctor” has been around for more than 100 years, at least since 1898, when former President William McKinley recruited Navy doctor Presley Rixey as chief health officer. But during this period, there was no official name for the above position.

Thuc Linh (According to the News Week)


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