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Sanjay Gupta

From Wikipedia

Sanjay Gupta (born October 23, 1969) is an American neurosurgeonmedical reporter, and writer. He serves as associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, associate professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, member of the National Academy of Medicine[1] and American Academy of Arts and Sciences[2] and is the chief medical correspondent for CNN.

Gupta is known for his many TV appearances on health-related issues. During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, he has been a frequent contributor to numerous CNN shows covering the crisis, as well as hosting a weekly town hall with Anderson Cooper.[3] Gupta was the host of the CNN show Sanjay Gupta MD for which he has won multiple Emmy Awards. Gupta also hosted the 6-part miniseries Chasing Life. He is a frequent contributor to other CNN programs such as American MorningLarry King LiveCNN Tonight, and Anderson Cooper 360°. His reports from Charity HospitalNew Orleans, Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina led to his winning a 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast. He is also a special correspondent for CBS News.

Sanjay Gupta also co-hosts the health conference Life Itself, along with Marc Hodosh (co-creator of TEDMED).[4] Gupta published a column in Time magazine and has written four books: Chasing LifeCheating DeathMonday Mornings: A Novel, and Keep Sharp (Jan 2021).[5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Gupta was born in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. In the 1960s, Gupta’s parents, Subhash and Damyanti Gupta, moved from India prior to their marriage and met in Livonia, Michigan, where they worked as engineers for Ford Motor Company.[8][9] His mother was born in the village of Tharushah in Sindh (now Pakistan), but at age 5 fled to India as a Hindu refugee during the Partition of India.[10] Gupta and his younger brother Suneel graduated from Novi High School and Gupta went on to receive 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. He was part of Interflex, a since discontinued accelerated medical education program that accepted medical students directly from high school.

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.[11] 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.[12] Gupta plays the accordion, having taken ten years of lessons, as he noted in an interview with David Hochman for Playboy.[13]


Medical practice[edit]

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.[14]

Gupta is an Emory Healthcare general neurosurgeon at Grady Memorial Hospital and has worked on spine, trauma and 3‑D‑image-guided operations. He has published medical journal articles on percutaneous pedicle screw placement,[15][16] brain tumors, and spinal cord abnormalities.[17][18] He is licensed to practice medicine in Georgia.[19] 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,[20] but he withdrew his name from consideration.[21]

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 surgeonHenri Ford, and two U.S. Navy doctors removed a piece of concrete from the girl’s skull in an operation performed aboard the Vinson.[22][23] Ford later wrote that Gupta “proved to be a competent neurosurgeon”.[24]

Broadcast journalism, television, film and events[edit]

Gupta joined CNN in the summer of 2001. He reported from New York following the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.[5] 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.[25] Gupta was embedded with a Navy medical unit at the time, specifically a group of Corpsman called the “Devil Docs”, who supported the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.[26] Marine Sergeant Jesus Vindaña suffered a rear gunshot wound, and the Marines asked for Gupta’s assistance because of his background in neurosurgery. Vindaña survived and was sent back to the United States for rehabilitation.[25] 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,[27] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[28] The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,[29] Real Time with Bill Maher and the Oprah Winfrey Show.[30] Winfrey referred to Gupta as CNN’s hero in January 2010.[31]

In 2011, Gupta portrayed himself in the movie Contagion, which has received much renewed attention during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.[32] His novel Monday Mornings became an instant New York Times bestseller on its release in March 2012. It was adapted as a 2013 television series with David E. Kelley and Gupta serving as executive producers. 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.”[33] The third part of his 3-hour documentary, “Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution”, was released in April 2015.[34] He was a co-producer of the 2017 CNN documentary Unseen Enemy, which warned of the risks of a global pandemic.[35]

Gupta served as a commentator on the University of Michigan TeamCast with former Wolverines kicker Jay Feely for the school’s appearance in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four, which aired on CNN sibling TNT.[36] In April 2019, Chasing Life was adapted as a six-show TV miniseries on CNN that took him to Japan, IndiaBoliviaNorway, Italy, and Turkey.[37] In September 2019, Gupta and Marc Hodosh (Co-Creator of TEDMED) announced a new event called Life Itself in partnership with CNN. Both Gupta and Hodosh will serve as hosts and organizers.[4] From June 28 to July 9, 2021, Gupta served as a guest host on Jeopardy!.[38]

Surgeon General candidate[edit]

On January 6, 2009, CNN announced that Gupta had been considered for the position of Surgeon General by President-elect Barack Obama.[39] Some doctors said that his communication skills and high-profile would allow him to highlight medical issues and prioritize medical reform. 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.[40] Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), wrote a letter opposing Gupta’s nomination. Conyers supported a single-payer health care system; Gupta has criticized Michael Moore and his film Sicko.[41]

From the medical community, Donna Wright, of Creative Health Care Management, a regular commentator on medicine and politics, also defended the appointment on the grounds of his media presence, combined with his medical qualifications, which she viewed as an ideal combination for the post of surgeon general.[42] Likewise, Fred Sanfilippo, executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University, supported Gupta’s nomination by issuing a press release saying: “He has the character, training, intelligence and communications skills needed to help the United States improve its health and health care delivery systems in the next Administration.”[43] The American Council on Exercise, listed by PR Newswire as “America’s leading authority on fitness and one of the largest fitness certification, education and training organizations in the world”, endorsed the nomination of Gupta “because of his passion for inspiring Americans to lead healthier, more active lives”. The ACE sent a letter of support to senator Edward M. Kennedy.[44] 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.”[45] In March 2009 Gupta withdrew his name from consideration for the post, citing his family and his career.[21]


Some journalists and journalism professors specializing in health care have criticized the quality of 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,[46] 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”.[47] Gary Schwitzer, professor of health journalism at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and now an editor at Health News Review, has also criticized Gupta’s reporting.[48][49]

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.[50]

Michael Moore dispute[edit]

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”.[51] 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.[52] 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.[53] 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. He also gave the commencement address at the spring commencement ceremony held in the University of Michigan Stadium.[54] On June 12, 2016, Gupta addressed the Oregon Health & Science University graduating class of 2016. On May 23, 2019, Gupta presented the commencement address to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine class of 2019.[55] In October 2019, Gupta was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, to join its 2019 class consisting of 100 members, one of the highest honors in medicine.[56] Gupta was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.[57] On October 6, 2022, Gupta was honored with the Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication by Franklin Pierce University.[58]

Personal life[edit]

Gupta is married to Rebecca Olson, a family law attorney. They were married in 2004 in a Hindu wedding ceremony. They live in Atlanta[59] and have three daughters.[60][61][62] Gupta wrote a book called World War C: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One about the COVID-19 pandemic.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ “Member”National Academy of Medicine. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  2. ^ “Sanjay K. Gupta”American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  3. ^ Bill Gates explains why US system produces ‘bogus’ testing numbers – CNN Video, retrieved August 10, 2020
  4. Jump up to:a b “Life Itself”Life Itself with Dr. Sanjay Gupta & Marc Hodosh.
  5. Jump up to:a b “CNN Programs: Anchors/Reporters: Sanjay Gupta”. CNN.
  6. ^ “CNN Medical Correspondent to Serve as Pritzker Commencement Speaker”Pritzker School of Medicine. May 23, 2007. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Gupta, Sanjay (January 5, 2021). Keep SharpISBN 978-1-5011-6673-0.
  8. ^ Crenshaw, Holly. “Emory Magazine: Autumn 2009: Being Dr. Gupta”. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  9. ^ 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.”
  10. ^ Gupta, Dr Sanjay (October 17, 2014). “Sanjay Gupta travels to discover his ‘Roots'”. CNN. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  11. ^ “1990 – 1991”. Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  12. ^ “CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta, M.D., to give address at Medical School commencement”, University of Michigan, May 1, 2009.
  13. ^ Hochman, David (September 2015). “Playboy Interview: Sanjay Gupta” (PDF)Playboy62 (7): 47–50, 114–115, 117.
  14. ^ “Haiti struggles with death and destruction after catastrophic earthquake”LIFE. January 18, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  15. ^ Foley, Kevin T.; Gupta, Sanjay K.; Justis, Jeff R.; Sherman, Michael C. (April 2001). “Percutaneous Pedicle Screw Fixation of the Lumbar Spine”Neurosurgical FocusAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons10 (4): E10. doi:10.3171/foc.2001.10.4.11ISSN 1092-0684PMID 16732626.
  16. ^ Foley, Kevin T.; Sanjay K., SK (July 2002). “Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation of the lumbar spine: preliminary clinical results” (PDF)Journal of Neurosurgery: SpineAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons97 (1): 7–12. doi:10.3171/spi.2002.97.1.0007ISSN 1547-5654PMID 12120655S2CID 6243135. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 25, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  17. ^ 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”. The Spine Journal. Elsevier. 9 (2): 169–173. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2008.03.008ISSN 1529-9430PMID 18468958.
  18. ^ Tumialán, Luis M.; Lin, Franklin; Gupta, Sanjay K. (August 2006). “Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis Causing Serratia Marcescens and Proteus Mirabilis Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Infection. Case Report”. Journal of NeurosurgeryAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons105 (2): 320–324. doi:10.3171/jns.2006.105.2.320ISSN 0022-3085PMID 17219841.
  19. ^ “Gupta, Sanjay”. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  20. ^ Kurtz, Howard (January 6, 2009). “Obama Wants Journalist Gupta for Surgeon General”The Washington Post. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  21. Jump up to:a b “Gupta Opts Out of Surgeon General Consideration”. CNN. March 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
  22. ^ Thompson, Jason (January 18, 2010). “Sanjay Gupta assists Vinson medical team”US Navy. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  23. ^ Agence France-Presse (January 20, 2011). “TV neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta saves girl”The Australian. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  24. ^ Ford, Henri R. (2011). “Answering the call to action: response to the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010”. Surgical Infections12 (2): 89–98. doi:10.1089/sur.2011.9920PMID 21453040.
  25. Jump up to:a b Gupta, Sanjay (May 22, 2007). “Gupta: Saving Lives on the Front Lines”. CNN. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  26. ^ Kugel, Allison (March 12, 2012). “CNN’s Sanjay Gupta: An Intimate Interview with The World’s Doctor”. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  27. ^ “Dr. Sanjay Gupta on The Late Show with David Letterman”. Zimbio. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  28. ^ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Rose McGowan/Dr. Sanjay Gupta/Charlie Daniels Episode Summary”. May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  29. ^ “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Episode Summary”. April 28, 2003. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  30. ^ “Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Patient Checklist”. January 15, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  31. ^ “Oprah Winfrey Calls Sanjay Gupta ‘CNN’s hero'”,, January 19, 2010.
  32. ^ “‘Contagion’ Screenwriter on Coronavirus, Donald Trump and What We Can Do”. March 12, 2020.
  33. ^ Gupta, Sanjay (August 8, 2013). “Why I changed my mind on weed”CNN. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  34. ^ “Weed 3: Marijuana Revolution”
  35. ^ Hughes, Mike. “CNN’s ‘Unseen Enemy’ takes viewers to pandemic’s front lines”Lansing State Journal. Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  36. ^ Crawford, Kirkland (March 30, 2018). “Michigan in Final Four: Jay Feely, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on TNT ‘TeamCast'”Detroit Free Press. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  37. ^ “New CNN Original Series, “Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta,” Premieres Saturday, April 13″. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  38. ^ “Dr. Mehmet Oz, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie and Dr. Sanjay Gupta Join Jeopardy! Guest Host Lineup | J!Buzz |” Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  39. ^ “Sources: CNN’s Gupta Approached for Surgeon General”. CNN. January 6, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2009The 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.
  40. ^ Neergaard, Lauran (January 7, 2009). “CNN: Gupta Approached about Surgeon General Post dead link”Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Retrieved January 8, 2009The pair raised questions about drug-company sponsorship of some programs Gupta hosted […] and […] urged careful examination of any potential conflicts of interest.
  41. ^ [dead link] Hooper, Molly K. (January 8, 2009). “Conyers’s Opposition to Gupta Is Connected to Michael Moore” Archived March 9, 2009, at the Wayback MachineThe Hill.
  42. ^ Wright, Donna (January 13, 2009). “Gupta Good Choice for Surgeon General”The Bradenton Herald. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  43. ^ White, Christina (January 19, 2009). “Gupta Named Top U.S. Doctor”The Emory Wheel. Archived from the original on September 24, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  44. ^ Press release (January 27, 2009). “American Council on Exercise (ACE) Endorses Appointment of Dr. Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General of the United States”PR Newswire. Retrieved February 1, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  45. ^ SteveK (February 20, 2009). “Gupta Gets Endorsement From Controversial Former SG”TVNewser. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  46. ^ “Trudy Lieberman’s biography page”The Nation. Archived from the original on July 27, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  47. ^ Lieberman, Trudy (October 27, 2008). “Campaign Desk, Paging Dr. Gupta, How CNN’s Doc Misdiagnosed McCain’s Health Plan”Columbia Journalism Review.
  48. ^ CNN’s one-sided view of mammography controversy Archived March 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Schwitzer health news blog, April 8, 2007.
  49. ^ “Sanjay Gupta”, at Schwitzer health news blog.
  50. ^ Aldhous, Peter (January 8, 2009). “Should a TV News Doctor be US Surgeon General?” Blog of New Scientist.
  51. ^ “CNN’s Dr. Gupta looks at ‘Sicko’ and Some Facts Are Incorrect”The Situation Room, CNN. Aired July 9, 2007 – 19:00 ET.
  52. ^ “‘SiCKO’ Truth Squad Sets CNN Straight”Michael Moore. July 10, 2007. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
  53. ^ “Michael Moore, Dr. Gupta Square Off over ‘Sicko'”. CNN. July 10, 2007. Archived from the original on November 19, 2010.
  54. ^ “Sanjay Gupta to U-M grads: Let values, not money, dictate pursuits” Archived June 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ “CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta to Deliver 2019 Commencement Address at Albert Einstein College of Medicine” Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  56. ^ “National Academy of Medicine elects Sanjay Gupta, Emory neurosurgeon and CNN correspondent” October 22, 2019. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  57. ^ “New Members”American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  58. ^ “Fitzwater Medallion”Franklin Pierce University. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  59. ^ “The Setting – Sanjay Gupta & Rebecca Olson”InStyle. March 17, 2010. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  60. ^ Bell, Debra (January 9, 2009). “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sanjay Gupta”U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  61. ^ “Dr. Sanjay Gupta: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me”US Weekly. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  62. ^ “Sanjay Gupta’s Daughter Facts and FAQs”Instageeked News. August 31, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2021.