Richard Carmona quotes
American - Public Servant
Born: 22 Nov 1949
When I came home after my statutory term as surgeon general, I just resumed my life here in southern Arizona. Teaching at the university; my law enforcement career. Sitting on some boards. All the things I did before.
If the childhood obesity epidemic remains unchecked, it will condemn many of our kids to shorter lives, as well as the emotional and financial burdens of poor health.
I've had opportunities before to run for office - the Republicans recruited me when I was surgeon general, to run for Congress, to run against Gov. Napolitano. But I didn't feel it was my calling... I felt, 'Well, I'm flattered, but I really would rather stay and be the doctor of the nation and stay as surgeon general.'
The overarching issue, really, is our surgeon general should be able to communicate transparently and honestly with the American public on all issues.
I used to be a real doctor. Now I just play one on TV.
I grew up in Harlem. My grandmother was one of the best cooks around, but the first thing she did on Sunday mornings when she started cooking a daylong meal was to take a big block of lard from the back of the refrigerator and throw it into the pan. I know how Hispanics buy their food, and it is not always nutritious.
I really think the most important thing I do is to protect the dignity and the integrity of the Office of the Surgeon General.
We need stem-cell research, no question about it. It is absolutely crucial for moving our medical science forward. We are trying to harness an untapped source of energy that can provide cures and possibly even prevent disease and suffering.
I got into medical school at the University of California in San Francisco and did well. A lot of smart kids in medical school, and believe me, I wasn't not nearly the smartest one, but I was the most focused and the happiest kid in medical school. In 1979, I graduated as the valedictorian and was honored with the Gold Cane Award.
While my mother tried to stem my truancy, it would be a complete stranger - an Army Officer in the Special Forces home on leave - who would be the mentor to drive home my mother's goal of getting me educated. His name was Saul Hassan.
Lucy Mercedes Martinez, my mother, was probably my first mentor. She really tried to take care of me in spite of myself, and in spite of her own struggles with alcohol. She was an immigrant who had never finished school. But she was also a Renaissance woman who read voraciously. She spoke several languages.
In honor of Surgeon General Koop's legacy, we should ensure that the position of surgeon general is protected from political interference, funded appropriately and nominated from the ranks of career public health professionals who merit consideration, as is done in the other uniformed services.
A grateful world, nation and cadre of surgeons general who followed in his shadow are forever indebted to Surgeon General Koop's wisdom, fortitude, integrity and selfless service.
As a young surgeon in training at the University of California San Francisco General Hospital in the early '80s, my colleagues and I were inundated with an epidemic of young men with fevers, rashes, swollen lymph nodes and eventually death.
C. Everett 'Chic' Koop became U.S. Surgeon General under President Reagan. He was a world renowned pediatric surgeon who had a tumultuous Senate confirmation process due to partisanship. Chic took office in January 1982, a time of 'tobacco wars' and a new and evolving terrifying disease that we ultimately came to know as AIDS.
If you want to communicate with the American public, the literature tells you you've got to be talking at about a sixth-grade, seventh-grade level.
I am my own version of the DREAM Act.
I am not a Hispanic candidate. I am an American candidate who happens to be of Hispanic heritage, who understands the culture, who has worked the border and has a unique understanding of those issues. But rest assured my job is to represent all Americans as a U.S. senator.
I still look at my job as being a doctor of the people, and I'm going to look at the science... If we can find a viable alternative that gave us harm reduction as people are withdrawing from nicotine, I'm happy to engage in that science and see if we can do that.
The average person doesn't understand what a stem cell is. There's a lack of health literacy in our nation. So the public can't really get into this dialogue because they don't understand the complexity of stem cells, not the faith-based approach, not the ideological or political, but the science behind stem cells.
I am classified as a disabled veteran. The reason I'm disabled is because I have wounds and injuries that I got while on active duty... from parachute jumping to combat to gunshot wounds, all that stuff.
I see good ideas on the Republican side as well as the Democratic side. You have to return civility and statesmanship to governance. If you don't do that, it doesn't matter what portfolio of issue you're pushing, nothing is going to get done.
Actions, such as the designation of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, spring from First Lady Michelle Obama's leadership of efforts to end childhood obesity within this generation.
My mom used to tell me that the most valuable thing she owned was her library card. We were poor, but that's not what she was talking about. My mom knew that education opened doors and opened minds.
The fact is that a bill allowing any employer to deny insurance coverage based on a moral objection - along with giving an employer permission to ask for medical records showing why a woman is taking birth control - opens up a set of problems that I'm sure its sponsors have not fully considered.
In 1967, I signed up for the Army, where I earned an equivalency diploma, then went on to join the Special Forces. That was really was the turning point in my life. I became more disciplined and focused. I went overseas and was in combat, got wounded a couple of times, lost a lot of good friends but matured a great deal.