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WASHINGTON — Secretary Gates on Friday nominated Navy Capt. Dr. Brian Monahan to take over as the attending physician for Congress, replacing a naval general officer who has done the job for the last 13 years.

Earlier this month Congressional leaders announced Rear Adm. John Eisold had been reassigned from the post to "attend to personal and family matters." Naval and Congressional officials did not release any other details.

Monahan, currently the deputy attending physician for Congress, has extensive research experience in oncology and hematology.

The Office of Attending Physician, established in 1928, provides free medical care and medication to the 435 members of the House, the 100 members of the Senate and the nine Supreme Court justices.

The physician also provides primary care, emergency, environmental and occupational health services in direct support of the United States Capitol, visiting dignitaries, pages, staffs and tourists.

The Attending Physican’s office played a central role in the 2001 anthrax attacks on Senator Tom Daschle’s U.S. Senate office, taking nasal swabs from the nearly 6,000 staff, employees, and visitors that were potentially exposed to the harmful bacteria, according to the Congressional Record.

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