As Physician And Senator, Bill Frist Tries D.C. Balancing Act

Interviewer: Thomas W. Durso Editor's Note: Bill Frist is the only United States senator ever to hold a medical degree. The Tennessee Republican was trained as a heart and lung transplant surgeon and is a former biomedical researcher at Vanderbilt University. Without any prior political experience, he ran for the Senate in 1994 and won 56 percent of the vote, defeating a three-term incumbent. In his short tenure, Frist has emerged as something of a science spokesman among politicians. With Re

Thomas Durso
Jun 22, 1997

Interviewer: Thomas W. Durso

Editor's Note: Bill Frist is the only United States senator ever to hold a medical degree. The Tennessee Republican was trained as a heart and lung transplant surgeon and is a former biomedical researcher at Vanderbilt University. Without any prior political experience, he ran for the Senate in 1994 and won 56 percent of the vote, defeating a three-term incumbent. In his short tenure, Frist has emerged as something of a science spokesman among politicians. With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, he holds key science-related committee positions, chairing the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, and the Labor and Human Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety. In the latter post, he is overseeing the writing of the National Institutes of Health's reauthorization, a process that raised the hackles of some scientists during its most recent go-around in 1993....

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