‘Medicine is not political’: Former Surgeon General Adams joins WISH-TV

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For Dr. Jerome Adams, the mission has always been about the medicine.

“We need to educate patients. We need to change their expectation about what pain management is and is not,” Adams said on Sept. 2, 2015.

Dr. Adams has bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and psychology, a masters in public health and earned his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

He was chosen by two governors to lead Indiana’s State Department of Health from 2014 to 2017.

He was at the forefront of the fight to stop the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana, and the state’s efforts to combat infant mortality.

He served four years as U.S. Surgeon General as “the nation’s doctor” from January 2017 to January 2021.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 05: Dr. Jerome Adams (C) places his hand on a bible held by his wife Lacy Adams as he is sworn in as U.S. Surgeon General by Vice President Mike Pence (R) in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building September 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. An anesthesiologist, Adams is the 20th surgeon general. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A key focus was placed on the opioid epidemic, and making naloxone available to families around the country.

“An estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. struggle with an opioid use disorder,” Adams said on April 5, 2018. “There is a person dying every 12.5 minutes and more than half other those are dying at home.”

Adams has also been a key voice to get more people vaccinated for COVID-19, especially in underserved communities.

“Tony Fauci and I fought to have people of color to have representation in these trials,” Adams said on Dec. 23, 2020. “So we feel confident that this will work not just in whites, but in Blacks and Hispanics, Native Americans and other populations.”

Dr. Adams begins his new role as WISH-TV’s Medical Expert next week.

He stopped by All Indiana on Tuesday.

“I’m not a surgeon or a general, I’m actually an anesthesiologist,” said Adams.

He said one of his main roles as U.S. Surgeon General was to give Americans the information they needed to stay healthy.

“One of the big challenges, being on a national stage quite frankly, is that a lot of the national outlets have an agenda,” said Adams. “They have a particular politically-leaning audience that they cater to and that frustrated me as surgeon general.”

He said when he spoke to regional audiences like WISH-TV it was a refreshing change.

“WISH-TV has always, in my mind, been a channel that has tried to steer clear of politics, try to give people the facts, and try to have a little fun,” he said.

Click the video for the full interview.