President-elect Barack Obama has asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta to be the next surgeon general, looking to a popular television personality to help provide a public face for his health care agenda. A health and medicine correspondent for CNN and CBS, Gupta, 39, is also a practicing neurosurgeon in Atlanta and a member of the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine. The surgeon general oversees some 6,000 officers in the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service. Gupta would bring to the post an unparalleled background as a communicator, having won widespread public recognition and a number of journalistic awards in recent years. Obama's transition office declined to comment on the offer, but Gupta confirmed on his Twitter feed for CNN yesterday that he had been "approached." The network reported that he is likely to accept the nomination.