Indian-American Devika Bhushan Becomes California’s Top Doctor

Indian origin Devika Bhushan on Thursday has been appointed California’s top doctor after incumbent surgeon general Nadine Burke Harris resigned following three years in the role.  

“I’m honored & humbled to be taking the baton as Acting CA Surgeon General from @DrBurkeHarris, a true visionary who’s galvanized a global movement for #ACEs & #ToxicStress, and my mentor & friend I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved—and to be leading our phenomenal team onwards,” said Dr Devika.  

The newly-appointed California surgeon general, Devika Bhushan, hails from Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Devika, the daughter of Indu Bhushan, who set up and steered India’s flagship Ayushman Bharat Mission for annual cashless hospitalisation cover of Rs 5 lakh for over ten crore vulnerable families, completed her undergraduate degree from Columbia University. Later, she had done MD at Harvard Medical School and completed a general paediatrics residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Bloomberg Children’s Center.  

She has written policy analyses on preventing gun violence, lead toxicity, and foster care legal implementation in the US.  

The 35-year-old earlier served on Stanford’s faculty as a Clinical Instructor in the General Pediatrics division, where she taught paediatrics residents.  

Devika, at present, serves as the Chief Health Officer at the Office of the California Surgeon General—a post created three years ago in January 2019.  

As Chief Health Officer, she was instrumental in implementing an evidence-based approach to routine screening and response for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress across California. As a founding team member of the Office of the California Surgeon General (in 2019), Bhushan co-constructed its strategic vision and priorities.  

She currently leads the research and clinical implementation portfolios relating to the Office’s top priorities—ACEs and toxic stress, health equity, and early childhood development. 

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