Surgeon General, United States of America
Commander, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, a combat-decorated Vietnam War veteran, was sworn in as Surgeon General last year. In his varied medical career, he has worked as a paramedic, a registered nurse, and a physician. Before being named Surgeon General, he chaired Arizona's Southern Regional Emergency Medical System and was a professor of surgery, public health, and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona. From 1986 until his appointment, he was the Pima County Sheriff's Department surgeon and a leader of its SWAT team.
Dr. Carmona served in many positions in the Pima County health care system, finally as chief executive officer. He has been a medical director of police and fire departments and is a peace officer with expertise in special operations and emergency preparedness, including weapons of mass destruction.
Among his many awards and decorations as a soldier, student, physician, and law enforcement professional are two Purple Hearts and the Police Medal of Honor. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is also certified in correctional health care and in quality assurance.
Dr. Carmona holds B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of California, San Francisco, and a master's of public health from the University of Arizona.