Biography

Dr. Vivek Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States (from December 2014 to April 2017). As The Nation’s Doctor, he brought both passion and innovation to the challenges of leading America’s national healthcare initiatives.

Leadership and innovation. Throughout his career, Dr. Murthy has led the way in medical education, social action, and healthcare dialogue. He has co-founded several healthcare community organizations and grassroots citizen movements, including Visions, a peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States that reached tens of thousands of students and Swasthya, a community health partnership that trained women in small villages in India to become healthcare providers and educators. He also co-founded TrialNetworks, a software company that developed collaborative technology for accelerating clinical trials, and a nonprofit organization, Doctors for America, that organized physicians in all 50 states to advocate for high quality, affordable health care for all.

As the Surgeon General, he issued the first Surgeon General's Report on Substance Use and Addiction, calling the nation to action to address this deadly disease. He launched the national TurnTheTideRx campaign to address the opioid crisis, and he was the first Surgeon General to issue a letter to health professionals across America calling them to action to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths. His final Surgeon General's Report was on E-cigarettes and Youth and was the first federal report on the topic. As Vice Admiral of the Public Health Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy was the youngest active duty flag officer in federal uniformed service.

The future of healthcare. Dr. Murthy brings a unique, nonpartisan perspective and deep experience to the debate about healthcare reform. He understands the concerns of all the stakeholders and how the system works — and how it could work better.

Health and well-being. Dr. Murthy emphasizes emotional well-being as the unexpected key to a healthier and stronger America. He talks about the science behind emotional well-being and it's implications for the addiction crisis in America, chronic disease, community violence, education, creativity, workplace productivity, and educational outcomes.

Other topics. Dr. Murthy speaks with unique authority on the challenges and opportunities regarding the nation’s health, including the opioid addiction crisis, gun violence, the effect of climate change on our health, physician burnout, and the promise of technology in the future of healthcare.

Credentials. Before serving as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy practiced and taught internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He also has an MBA from Yale.

Topics

These are topics that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest the speakers range and interests.

Emotional Well-Being – the unexpected key to a healthier, stronger America

  • Loneliness/Social connection and its role in the workforce: How does loneliness impact the workplace? Data and science show that loneliness is on the rise and it is more common than we thought. Loneliness has a negative impact on employee health, engagement, productivity, and creativity. How can we reduce loneliness among employees and simultaneously strengthen our workforce and our organizations?

  • Chronic stress: We all experience stress, but how much is too much? And what is the difference between helpful and harmful stress? Chronic stress has become a silent epidemic in the United States and around the world, taking a toll on our health, our employees’ productivity, and our childrens’ performance in school. There is a growing body of science that tells us how stress affects our body and our mind. Science is also helping us understand how to reduce chronic stress and cultivate emotional well-being. The question is: how do we translate this knowledge to action so we can help employees, students, and community members?

Emotional Well-Being in Schools

  • Emotional Well-Being in schools: There has been widespread coverage of the health challenges facing young people from bullying and violence to depression and alcohol and drug use. What if there was a common factor that tied these problems together which, if addressed, could improve the health, safety, and performance of students across the board? It turns out the common denominator is emotional well-being. Science has a great deal to say about how we can cultivate emotional well-being in our children using relatively simple and inexpensive tools. And a growing number of communities are using these tools to help their students. The evidence shows that such approaches can lower rates of drug use, violence, teen pregnancy, and suspensions.

  • Loneliness and Chronic Stress in schools: Young people are more connected than ever with social media. But does that mean that they are not lonely? A growing body of data tells us that loneliness and chronic stress are bigger problems for our kids than we thought. And while kids are resilient, loneliness and chronic stress can have a deleterious impact on a child’s health and their performance in school. What are the factors that are leading young people to experience loneliness and chronic stress at such high levels? Is all stress bad or are there circumstances where stress can help children grow and develop? Most importantly, what steps do parents, schools, and communities need to take to protect the next generation?

Physician and Nurse Burnout

More than 50% of physicians are experiencing at least one symptom of burnout and the numbers have worsened over the last several years. Physicians have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession. Rising physician burnout threatens to drain the health care workforce exactly when reports have sounded the alarm on critical shortages of clinicians around the country. What is driving burnout in the medical profession and whose responsibility is it to address this? What steps need to be taken to address the systemic and cultural factors that contribute to burnout?

Prevention and Public Health

Healthy Policy and Health Reform Efforts

The Future of Medicine and the Medical Profession

  • Making Prevention Work: Driven by skyrocketing health care costs, rapidly expanding burden of disease, and changing payment models, health care systems are under increasing pressure to do better when it comes to preventing illness. What do health systems and communities need to do to enhance our ability to prevent diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and the other top drivers of mortality and health care costs? How can health systems partner with communities on this mission?

  • Role of Physicians and Nurses in 21 st century: Most clinicians were trained to care for the sick and to cure illness. But for centuries, our mission in medicine has been broader: to create health. If our goal is to create health, then we must be as good at prevention as we are at treatment. How can we do this as individuals and as a profession? What does it mean to train a new generation of doctors and nurses to create health in their communities? It will require new skills, new collaborations, and a fundamental reappraisal of how clinicians are using their time.

Technology and Medicine:

The interface of tech and medicine has produced exhilarating advances in diagnostics and therapeutics. Further advances, particularly with artificial intelligence have led physicians to wonder what role they will play in health care in the future. Will innovation make physicians unnecessary? I don’t believe so, but I do think our role will change significantly. What will the evolving role of physicians look like in the future and how can we prepare the next generation of physician leaders for this new world?

Social Determinants of Health

Addiction and Substance Use Disorders

  • Opioids/Addiction: The opioid epidemic has swept the nation with implications for all sectors, including businesses. Addiction is driving health care costs, absenteeism, and productivity losses, and it is contributing to workforce shortages as the number of deaths related to opioids, alcohol, and other drugs continue to rise. How did we get to this point? What are our most promising strategies for turning the tide on addiction? And what can organizations do to protect themselves, their employees, and their communities?

  • In schools: While the dramatic rise in opioid addiction has been well chronicled in the media, schools and colleges are also facing a more quiet crisis with addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs like methamphetamines. What is driving addiction in our schools and universities? And what steps can educational institutions take to protect their students?

Moral Leadership in the 21st century

E-cigarettes

Climate Change and Health

Gun Violence

  • 2017 UCSF School of Medicine Commencement Address
  • A Nation Under Pressure: The Public Health Consequences of Stress in America | NIH
  • The Gun Violence Epidemic | The Aspen Institute
  • One Nation Under Stress: How Social Connection Can Heal Us | Commonwealth Club
  • A Conversation with Vice Admire Vivek H. Murthy | Harvard Institute of Politics
  • Surgeon general's report calls for response to addiction crisis
  • The importance of emotional well-being | The Aspen Institute
  • White House Speech on Climate Change and Health | C-Span
  • Prescription for happiness | TEDMED
  • Surgeon General and Elmo team up to talk vaccinations

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