Dr. Wells Goes To Washington

By Jamie Wells, M.D. — Feb 01, 2018
ACSH Director of Medicine Dr. Jamie Wells traveled to Washington, DC to spend the afternoon with White House Physician to the President Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson. 

With the weaponizing of presidential health taking center stage throughout the election and beyond, culminating in the most transparent press conference ever regarding the subject (see here), the spotlight was placed on President Trump’s White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson’s conclusions over a routine physical. Yes, that’s important, but what was revealed of equal to greater importance was just how integrally involved Dr. Jackson is in the daily life of a president. 

Being the first physician to serve three administrations AND be the appointed Physician to the President for two presidents (currently President Trump and formerly President Obama) speaks volumes to his being the authority on the topic. This reality, along with the revelations made during the media event, convey his is the only truly informed opinion on the matter with respect to this president.

So, I set out to discover just what his job entails and learn about the depth and breadth of the White House Medical team’s responsibilities by going directly to the primary source. How best to clarify misperceptions than to spend an afternoon at the White House with Dr. Jackson delving ever further into the resources and facilities he has at his disposal?

Just your average, typical afternoon              My face showing my ridiculous                 invited to the White House                       excitement after I go through the gates


Dr. Jackson’s position encompasses leadership over innumerable working parts, coordinating multifaceted and multidisciplinary health delivery systems, oversight of global medical teams, contingency planning as well as constant access and continuous assessment of the Commander-in-Chief to ensure well-being, to name a few. Television armchair diagnosing is a grossly unworthy substitute for the extensive, daily access and opportunity for continuous reassessment someone in Dr. Jackson’s post has to deem fitness for office.

Meeting with Rear Adm Ronny Jackson (MD) in his office in the White House after he gave me an incredible tour of the premises, including the medical units

In my sit-down interview with him in his office in the residence of the White House, I explore all of his duties (which go well beyond a presidential physical), his background in resuscitative and disaster medicine, his views on healthcare, his place in history, his thoughts on the media storm over this topic as well as the intervention capabilities of his command and the wide scope of his and their priorities.

For example

Did you know the White House Medical team provides urgent/emergent care, and travel medicine for official travel, for all members of the Executive Office of the President?

Or that on a day-to-day basis this includes 5000 to 7000 employees with access to these clinics (e.g. those that work in the New Executive Office Building, the Old Executive Office Building, and the White House proper)?

Did you know Dr. Jackson is the first Emergency Medicine physician to be appointed as the Physician to the President and why that makes him well-suited for the job? Or that he also treats the First Family and Cabinet members?

Check here for my interview with Dr. Jackson as it is a fascinating read. In such a polarized political landscape, the fact he retained his occupation status in the Trump administration and has been so publicly endorsed and championed by many from Obama's team underscores how much more there is to his story (see here).

See Dr. Wells Interviews POTUS' Doctor, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, At The White House for the complete interview.

Part of my tour included the Diplomatic Reception Room


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