Richard Carmona: 1949—: U.S. Surgeon General
Early Career Full Of Intensity
Carmona's Army career included combat in Vietnam in the Army Special Forces as a Green Beret and medic, for which he earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, among other decorations and awards for service. When his Army service was complete, Carmona returned to civilian life, marrying his childhood sweetheart and pursuing his college education at the University of California-San Francisco while working different jobs. He graduated college with honors in 1976, and was accepted into the University of California-San Francisco Medical School. He not only graduated from medical school at the top of his class, earning the prestigious Gold Headed Cane award, but was also the first student in the school's history to complete the four-year program in three years. He pursued training as a surgeon, then specialty training in trauma surgery.
Carmona headed to Tucson, Arizona, in 1985 to head the first trauma-care program in the region. A year later, he joined the Pima County sheriff's office as a doctor and SWAT team member. He also served as a clinical professor of surgery, public health, and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. In 1992, after a medevac helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain, Car-mona rescued the sole survivor by dangling from another chopper on a rope, lashing the wounded paramedic to himself, and carrying him three miles to safety. The incident reportedly inspired a movie.
In September of 1999, on his way to a University of Arizona football game, Carmona pulled off the road to assist a traffic accident—a pickup truck had rear-ended a car. When Carmona approached the truck, onlookers told him the driver was armed. Though Carmona was off duty, he still was carrying a gun and, after calling for backup, asked the driver to put down his weapon. The driver appeared to follow Carmona's instructions, but suddenly fired on the doctor, grazing Carmona's head. Carmona fired seven shots, three of which hit the man and killed him. It was later discovered that the man was a mentally ill ex-convict who had murdered his father earlier that day.
Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyRichard Carmona: 1949—: U.S. Surgeon General Biography - Early Career Full Of Intensity, Questioned About Past