A Medical Device Daily

President Barack Obama yesterday nominated Regina Benjamin, MD, as surgeon general.

Benjamin is founder and currently CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic (Bayou La Batre, Alabama), located in a fishing village on Alabama's Gulf Coast. Benjamin previously was associate dean of rural health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine (Mobile). In 2002, she was named president of the Medical Association State of Alabama, making her the first African American woman to be president of a State Medical Society in the U.S.

Benjamin is a rural Alabama family physician who made headlines with fierce determination to rebuild her nonprofit medical clinic in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The New York Times once described her as an "angel in a white coat," a country doctor who made house calls along the impoverished Gulf Coast, paid whatever her patients could scrounge.

Obama said Benjamin understands the needs of the poor and uninsured, making her uniquely qualified to be America's doctor as his administration tries to revamp the healthcare system.

Benjamin's nomination for surgeon general requires Senate confirmation.