“That question is at the heart of a debate set off when Dr. Regina Benjamin was nominated for surgeon general. A MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant recipient who set up a medical clinic in hurricane-ravaged Alabama, Benjamin hasn't responded publicly to criticism that her extra pounds may set a poor example. Her supporters say she is being treated unfairly; after all, many previous surgeon generals -- most of them men -- weren't so skinny themselves. But with the nation's obesity problem worsening, some advocates say it's increasingly critical for healthcare workers and those with visible, influential roles to ‘walk the walk’ and serve as role models. ‘A doctor doesn't need to be perfect, but it'd be hard for me to take financial advice from a CPA who had just filed for bankruptcy,’ said Dr. Timothy Harlan, medical director of the Tulane University School of Medicine, who says he believes physicians should make a genuine effort to be healthy."