Dr. David Shulkin as Secretary of Veteran Affairs

Once again, President-elect Trump has done a terrific job of finding the right person to lead a very important department. As he has shown us for decades in the business world, that is what he does best: puts the right people in the right places.

Along those lines, he has selected David Shulkin - a longtime friend of mine - to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

David is an interesting choice because once again President-elect Trump thought outside the box. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is typically a Veteran.

But David isn't a Veteran.

Instead, he boasts a prolific career in hospital management that leaves little doubt he will do a great job fixing what has been a very flawed VA hospital system.
David ran two very prestigious hospitals, including Beth Israel Medical Center in NY, Morristown Medical Center in NJ.

He also oversaw the Atlantic Health System and several prolific collegiate hospital systems, including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and - returning to the institution where he received his MD in 1986 - the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

He's been a respected academic in the field as well, sitting on the board of numerous medical journals - such as the esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association - and holding the Chairmanship of Medicine at Drexel University's College of Medicine.

He has both the medical and business background to be the ideal fit for the position.
Still, people will point to the fact that he has served as Undersecretary of the VA since March 2015 as a negative against him.

But, if we are being completely fair, he has not been the top man in charge nor has he been given enough time to put his own stamp on the VA to try to turn it around his way.
And anybody who doubts his commitment to the job or his desire to make the VA great again should have those worries calmed by David's own words about the VA's troubles.

"The first responsibility that we have to our veterans is to make sure those that need urgent care are getting care on time," he told NPR, adding that, "We've brought in people from the outside who have private sector experience. And what we're saying is that we have to do business differently. ... We know how to make this program work better."

The VA sorely needs that kind of approach, and that is what it will get with David in charge.

That's why he was picked out of a list of candidates that included over 100 names.

I'm delighted for my friend, but even more elated for the improved care our heroic veterans will receive with David's medical, hospital, and business expertise running the show at the VA.

His resume, intelligence, and character make him the perfect man for the job, and America will have the opportunity to see that for themselves very soon.