Carmona was the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and is the Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He also holds faculty appointments as a Professor of Surgery and Pharmacy. Trained in general and vascular surgery, Dr. Carmona also completed a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns, and critical care. Dr. Carmona was then recruited jointly by the Tucson Medical Center and the University of Arizona to start and direct Arizona’s first regional trauma care system. He went on to become the chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System, a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department surgeon and deputy sheriff. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Carmona’s interest in public health stemmed from the realization that most of his patients’ illnesses and injuries were completely preventable
In 2002, Dr. Carmona was nominated by the president and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to become the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Carmona was selected because of his extensive experience in public health, clinical sciences, health care management, preparedness, and his commitment to prevention as an effective means to improve public health and reduce health care costs while improving the quality and quantity of life. As Surgeon General, Dr. Carmona focused on prevention, preparedness, health disparities, health literacy, and global health to include health diplomacy. He also issued many landmark Surgeon General Communications during his tenure, including the definitive Surgeon General’s Report about the dangers of second-hand smoke.