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Sanjay Gupta


Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta
Gupta, circa 2011
Born (1969-10-23) October 23, 1969
Novi, Michigan, United States[1]
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Michigan (B.S.)(M.D.)
Occupation Journalist and neurosurgeon
Spouse(s) Rebecca Olson Gupta
Children 3

Sanjay Gupta, MD ( ; 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.

A media personality on health-related issues, he is best known as CNN's multiple Emmy Award-winning 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 led to him winning 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] His latest book, Monday Mornings, a novel, was released in March 2012 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It is currently being adapted as a television show with David E. Kelley and Gupta serving as executive producers.

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]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • Medical practice 2.1
    • Broadcast journalism 2.2
    • Surgeon General candidate 2.3
  • Controversy 3
    • Criticism of reporting 3.1
    • Michael Moore dispute 3.2
  • Honors 4
  • Personal life 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life and education

Gupta, an Indian American, was raised in Livonia, Michigan, in Wayne County in Metro Detroit.[6] In the 1960s, his parents, Subhash Pryanka and Damayanti Gupta, with his older brother, Yogesh, moved from India to Michigan to work as engineers for the Ford Motor Company.[7] Gupta graduated from Novi High School.[6] He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, in 1993.

As an undergraduate, Gupta worked as an orientation leader for the freshman orientation program, and was a member of the Men's Glee Club. He also served as president of the Indian American Students Association (IASA), which is now the second largest student organization at the university.[8]

Gupta completed his residency in neurological surgery within the University of Michigan Health System, in 2000, followed by a fellowship at the Semmes Murphy Clinic, in Memphis, Tennessee.[9]


Medical practice

Gupta is an South Carolina.[14]

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.[15]

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, a 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.[16][17] Ford later wrote that Gupta "proved to be a competent neurosurgeon".[18]

Broadcast journalism

In 2003, Gupta traveled to Iraq to cover the medical aspects of the invasion of Iraq. While in Iraq, Gupta performed emergency surgery on both US soldiers and Iraqi civilians.[19] Gupta was embedded with a Navy medical unit at the time, specifically a group of doctors called the "Devil Docs", who supported the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.[20] 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.[19]

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,[21] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[22] The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,[23] Real Time with Bill Maher and the Oprah Winfrey Show.[24] Winfrey referred to Gupta as CNN's hero in January 2010.[25]

In a 2013 editorial, Gupta announced that in the process of working on a documentary about marijuana he had changed his mind about the drug's risks and benefits. Gupta had previously criticized laws that allowed patient access to medical marijuana, but he reversed his stance, saying, "I am here to apologize," and, "We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that."[26]

Surgeon General candidate

On January 6, 2009, CNN announced that Gupta had been considered for the position of Surgeon General by President Barack Obama.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29]

Others, such as Edward M. Kennedy.[33] 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."[34] In March 2009 Gupta withdrew his name from consideration for the post, citing his family and his career.[4]


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,[35] 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".[36]

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.[37]

Others have criticized Gupta's promotion of Merck's cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, without disclosing the financial arrangements between CNN and Merck.[38]

Gary Schwitzer, professor of health journalism at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, has also criticized Gupta's reporting.[39][40]

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".[41]

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.[42] 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.[43] 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 responding point-by-point to Moore's response, contending that comparison of data from different sources in different years was in effect "cherry picking" results, at the cost of statistical accuracy.


On April 28, 2012, Gupta was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his accomplishments in the medical field. Gupta also gave the commencement address at the spring commencement ceremony held in the University of Michigan Stadium.[44]

Personal life

Gupta is married to Rebecca Olson, a family law attorney. They were married in 2004 in a Hindu wedding ceremony. They live in Atlanta[45] and have three daughters.[46][47]


  • Chasing Life: New Discoveries in the Search for Immortality to Help You Age Less Today (Warner Wellness, 2007, ISBN 9780446526500)
  • Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives Against All Odds (Wellness Central, 2009, ISBN 9780446508872)
  • Monday Mornings: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing, March 2012, ISBN 978-0446583855)

See also


  1. ^ a b Kurtz, Howard (January 6, 2009). "Obama Wants Journalist Gupta for Surgeon General".  
  2. ^ a b "CNN Programs: Anchors/Reporters: Sanjay Gupta". CNN. 
  3. ^ "CNN Medical Correspondent to Serve as Pritzker Commencement Speaker".  
  4. ^ a b "Gupta Opts Out of Surgeon General Consideration".  
  5. ^ "Forbes 10 Most Influential Celebrities". Forbes. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Steinberg, Stephanie. "Alum Gupta nominated for surgeon general post." The Michigan Daily. Wednesday January 14, 2009. p. 1A. Retrieved from Google News (1 of 16) on October 28, 2013. "[...]School in 1993. He also grew up in nearby Novi, Mich., and attended Novi High School."
  7. ^ Crenshaw, Holly. "Emory Magazine: Autumn 2009: Being Dr. Gupta". Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta, M.D., to give address at Medical School commencement", University of Michigan, May 1, 2009.
  10. ^ Foley, Kevin T.; Gupta, Sanjay K.; Justis, Jeff R.; Sherman, Michael C. (April 2001). "Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Fixation of the Lumbar Spine" (PDF).  
  11. ^ Foley, Kevin T.; Sanjay K., SK (July 2002). "Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation of the lumbar spine: preliminary clinical results" (PDF).  
  12. ^ 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".  
  13. ^ 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).  
  14. ^ "NYS Professions – Online Verifications". July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Haiti struggles with death and destruction after catastrophic earthquake". LIFE. January 18, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ Thompson, Jason (January 18, 2010). medical team"Vinson"Sanjay Gupta assists .  
  17. ^  
  18. ^ Ford, Henri R. (2011). "Answering the call to action: response to the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010". Surgical Infections 12 (2): 89–98.  
  19. ^ a b Gupta, Sanjay (May 22, 2007). "Gupta: Saving Lives on the Front Lines". CNN. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  20. ^  
  21. ^ "Dr. Sanjay Gupta on The Late Show with David Letterman". Zimbio. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  22. ^ "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Rose McGowan/Dr. Sanjay Gupta/Charlie Daniels Episode Summary". May 10, 2005. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  23. ^ "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Episode Summary". April 28, 2003. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Patient Checklist". January 15, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Oprah Winfrey Calls Sanjay Gupta 'CNN’s hero'",, January 19, 2010.
  26. ^ Gupta, Sanjay (8 August 2013). "Why I changed my mind on weed". CNN. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "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. 
  28. ^ Neergaard, Lauran (January 7, 2009). "CNN: Gupta Approached about Surgeon General Post dead link".  
  29. ^ Hooper, Molly K. (January 8, 2009). "Conyers's Opposition to Gupta Is Connected to Michael Moore". The Hill.
  30. ^ Hamsher, Jane (January 9, 2009). "In Defense of the Sanjay Gupta Appointment". Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  31. ^ Wright, Donna (January 13, 2009). "Gupta Good Choice for Surgeon General".  
  32. ^ White, Christina (January 19, 2009). "Gupta Named Top U.S. Doctor".  
  33. ^ Press release (January 27, 2009). "American Council on Exercise (ACE) Endorses Appointment of Dr. Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General of the United States".  
  34. ^ SteveK (February 20, 2009). "Gupta Gets Endorsement From Controversial Former SG". TVNewser. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Trudy Lieberman's biography page".  
  36. ^ Lieberman, Trudy (October 27, 2008). "Campaign Desk, Paging Dr. Gupta, How CNN's Doc Misdiagnosed McCain's Health Plan", Columbia Journalism Review.
  37. ^ Aldhous, Peter (January 8, 2009). "Should a TV News Doctor be US Surgeon General?" Blog of New Scientist.
  38. ^ Martens, Pam (July 20, 2007). "CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Laura Bush and the Marketing of Merck's Gardasil: Doctoring the News", CounterPunch.
  39. ^ CNN's one-sided view of mammography controversy, Schwitzer health news blog, April 8, 2007.
  40. ^ "Sanjay Gupta", at Schwitzer health news blog.
  41. ^ "CNN's Dr. Gupta looks at 'Sicko' and Some Facts Are Incorrect", The Situation Room, CNN. Aired July 9, 2007 – 19:00 ET.
  42. ^ SiCKO' Truth Squad Sets CNN Straight"'".  
  43. ^ "'"Michael Moore, Dr. Gupta Square Off over 'Sicko. CNN. July 10, 2007. 
  44. ^ "Sanjay Gupta to U-M grads: Let values, not money, dictate pursuits"
  45. ^ "The Setting – Sanjay Gupta & Rebecca Olson". InStyle. March 17, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  46. ^ Bell, Debra (January 9, 2009). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Sanjay Gupta". US News and World Report. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Dr. Sanjay Gupta: 25 Things You Don't Know About Me". US Weekly. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 

External links

  • Sanjay Gupta at the Internet Movie Database
  • Sanjay Gupta CNN biography
  • Sanjay Gupta on Twitter
  • Interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta
  • Paging Dr. Gupta – Blog, CNN
  • Web page at Emory Neurosurgery department
  • — Interesting talk about maintaining lifeA Conversation with Sanjay Gupta, MD
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