Sean Conley: Who is the White House doctor?

Dr Conley has been in the headlines over his comments about the president's health

Dr. Sean Conley, White House physician, speaks during a press conference outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. President Donald Trump may be discharged from the hospital as soon as Monday as he recuperates from Covid-19, one of his doctors said Sunday, though they revealed he’s been administered a medicine to control inflammation. Photographer: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg
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It is perhaps one of the most important jobs in the White House, keeping the president alive and well. Since Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, his lead physician – Sean Conley – has been thrust into the limelight as the world eagerly awaits updates on the president’s health.

On Saturday, flanked by colleagues, Dr Conley gave a rosy picture of the president’s health – he was doing “very well” and in “exceptionally good spirits”, he said.

But what Dr Conley was vague about was whether the president had been given supplemental oxygen – many suffering from Covid-19 see a drop in blood oxygen levels requiring assisted breathing.

Trump teases hospital drive-by greeting on Twitter

Trump teases hospital drive-by greeting on Twitter

Dr Conley then admitted on Sunday that he had kept from the public the fact that the president had been given extra oxygen on Friday, in a bid to reflect an "upbeat attitude".
Also complicating the picture over Mr Trump's health was the fact that shortly after Dr Conley's statement on Saturday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters that the president's condition had been "very concerning" and that he was "still not on a clear path to a full recovery".

Here is everything you need to know about the current White House doctor:

The position has existed for over 100 years and Dr Conley has occupied the post for the last two years – after Dr Ronny L Jackson was nominated (but ultimately stood aside) to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr Conley is an osteopathic physician, who – much like more traditional medical doctors – undergo the usual training before doing additional courses to look at a more holistic approach to illness and how the body's systems interact.

He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006 and served as chief of trauma for the Nato Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Afghanistan.

Dr Conley made headlines earlier this year when he revealed that the president was taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that some believe – with no concrete evidence – can assist in preventing Covid-19. Mr Trump has repeatedly touted the drug but the government’s own Food and Drug Administration has warned that it could be dangerous and should only be taken in hospitals and in clinical trials.

While the role of the president’s physician began on a case-by-case basis, it is now a full government role and the White House has a medical team and a small clinic. The team are responsible for overseeing the health and well-being of the president, his immediate family as well as the vice president and White House staff.