Our fanboyism on ATUL GAWANDE is well-established: we think he should be surgeon general. Brilliant medical writer. Brilliant medical thinker. One of the very few essential voices to emerge out of the bar-brawl of the health-care debate. Local guy. Knows what it's like for someone to yell "FUCK YOU" at him in the middle of a reading
Everyone's familiar with the dreaded palm-to-forehead
feeling you get when a minuscule misstep leads to some larger disaster.
Locked your keys in the car, forgot to feed the fish, didn't properly
set your alarm clock on the day of your big interview. We've all been
there and have faced the shameful realization that if we had just
slowed our roll, these little catastrophes could have been avoided.
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.