With President Donald Trump battling coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, White House doctor Sean Conley has quickly becomes one of the President’s most important aides.
Conley, a Navy commander, is leading briefings to the nation on the President’s condition. He has come under fire for making misleading comments — which he later walked back — about the President’s condition on Saturday.
Conley, who took over as Trump’s White House physician in March 2018, holds a degree in osteopathic medicine, one of the two degrees in the United States in which physicians can practice medicine — either as a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathic medicine. About a quarter of US medical students train at osteopathic medical schools, according to the American Medical Association. Historically, doctor of osteopathic medicine programs have touted their methods as “more holistic.”
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from University of Notre Dame, Conley graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile. He then served in various military posts, primarily at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. He was the senior medical officer at the center’s department of emergency medicine. Conley also served as department director at a NATO hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
He replaced Dr. Ronny Jackson, a Navy rear admiral who was nominated to be secretary of veterans affairs. Jackson later withdrew following a string of allegations that included he loosely handled prescription pain medications, was intoxicated during an overseas trip and created a toxic work environment. Jackson denied the allegations. He is now running for a Texas congressional seat as a Republican.
The White House physician’s most recent report on the President’s annual physical came in June, when he said simply, “there were no findings of significance or changes to report.”
The results came after Trump revealed he’d taken a round of a controversial drug to prevent coronavirus and questions about the circumstances of his physical exam last year.
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