What to Know About Sean Conley, the White Home Doctor

What to Know About Sean Conley, the White House Physician

Doctors said Mr Trump was oxygenated in the White House on Friday, but it was not clear if he was re-administered on Saturday.

"I didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of the disease in any other direction, and it turned out that we were trying to hide something that wasn't necessarily true," said Dr. Said Conley. "The fact is, he's really fine."

The White House has had regular doctors since at least 1898 when President William McKinley hired a Navy doctor, Presley Rixey. He took care of Mr. McKinley and his wife, said Ludwig M. Deppisch, a medical historian and author of "The White House Physician: A History from Washington to George W. Bush".

Previously, according to Dr. Ludwig, the presidents would have called in military or civilian doctors as needed. However, the role of the White House Doctor as it exists today, a permanent government post for a doctor responsible for continuously monitoring the President's health, was not made law by Congress until 1928. By this point the role had become more professionalized, he wrote.

The White House also now has a robust medical department that also includes other doctors and nurses responsible for the welfare of the President, Vice President and White House staff.

Dr. Daniel A. Ruge was the White House Doctor who made crucial decisions following the shooting of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Twelve days after the shooting, Mr. Reagan returned to the White House. Many doctors guided Mr. Reagan's recovery, if not his survival, to the decision of Dr. Ruge not to disturb the routine of the hospital.

At other times the doctor's position in the White House has been hampered by political interests. For example, shortly after World War I, Woodrow Wilson's doctor hid the severity of the president's stroke from Congress and the American public, which affected the nation's ability to engage in external relations.

Concepción de León contributed to the coverage.


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