The Surgeon General's job is largely symbolic, we're told, and so the qualifications for becoming SG are largely related to how recognizable you are, how good you are on television, how many surguries you've performed on camera . . . and apparently how difficult it is to pronounce your name, since this indicates an allegiance with the incoming admin's narrative of worldliness and diversity. Still: dudes, Gupta? Really? Come on, obama transition team -- we can do better than that!
10. DR. J. Dissected kings and celtics on live television for decades.
9. DR. EVIL. Went to evil medical school, sure, but still less evil than outgoing administration.
8. DR. RUTH. Can be counted on to break down the longstanding band on Surg-Generals who talk frankly about masturbation and birth control. Republicans unlikley to complain, since even Focus on the Family realizes that nothing promotes abstinence quite so effectively as a crumply old lady talking excitedly about hand jobs.
7. DR. DRE. Gupta's vaunted "communication" skills are fine, but how many million records has he sold?
6. DR. SCHOLL. Unlike Sanjay, he's walked a mile in your shoes.
5. DR. EMMETT BROWN. As Surgeon General, could hop back in the DeLorean, tip off a few Democratic pollsters, and reset the Worst Presidency in the History of Presidents.
4. DR. JOHN. As in the 1970-era, Dr.-John-the-Night-Tripper incarnation, where he dressed up like a voodoo priest and put the whammy on people. Nothing better for an era of voodoo economics than a true-blooded witch doctor.
3. DIET DR. PEPPER. Cold, crisp, refreshing. Gupta: warm, limp, reassuring. Winner: Diet Dr. Pepper.
2. ATUL GAWANDE. Boston-based surgeon and New Yorker scribe has a name even more unpronouncable than Gupta's. Unlike Gupta, has written revealingly and insightfully about the biggest challenges facing doctors and, even more importantly, has concrete ideas about how to make medicine better -- stuff like handwashing and checklists. Above, he talks to Google about the idea of understanding medicine as " a kind of performance . . . and how [that] performance works as something that's high risk, difficult, and very human." Can we get a 1,000,000-strong-for-Surgeon-General-Gawande Facebook group, plz?!
1. DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN. Bitch gave birth in the motherfucking woods. Let's see your CNN talking head neurosurgeon top that