Dean under consideration for surgeon general: report

WASHINGTON Fri Mar 6, 2009 6:33pm EST

Howard Dean speaks at the Democratic National Committee annual fall meeting in Vienna, Virginia, November 30, 2007. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Howard Dean speaks at the Democratic National Committee annual fall meeting in Vienna, Virginia, November 30, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Howard Dean, a practicing physician before entering politics, was under consideration by the Obama administration for the post of U.S. surgeon general, CNN reported Friday.

Dean, who recently wrapped up a four-year term as Democratic Party chairman, has been a supporter of health reform, and has privately made clear that he is interested in the job, according to the cable network.

CNN said two White House officials noted that, while it is too early to compile a list of candidates for surgeon general, they did not rule out Dean getting the job.

"I would not dismiss it," one of the White House officials said of the possibility that Dean will be selected.

CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta Thursday withdrew his name from consideration for the post to focus more on his family and career as a surgeon.

The surgeon general leads the 6,000-member commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and is the top federal government spokesman on matters of public health.

(Reporting by Christopher Doering, editing by Anthony Boadle)

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