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Dr. Jennifer Ashton: New Med Correspondent

The Early Show has a new medical correspondent -- Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

Her appointment as a medical correspondent was announced by Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and CBS Sports.

In her new role, Dr. Ashton will report on a broad range of medical topics for The Early Show, and will contribute to other CBS News broadcasts and platforms.

Dr. Ashton's first Early Show topic, on Wednesday -- the pistachio salmonella scare-related recall.

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She'll continue practicing medicine while performing her duties as a correspondent, McManus points out. She's delivered about 1,000 babies.

"CBS News is committed to providing viewers with the information they need most," he says. "Dr. Ashton's proven ability to clearly communicate sometimes complicated health and medical news will be an asset to CBS News and The Early Show."

She was welcomed to the show by co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, and revealed she'd actually been on with Smith before!:

Dr. Ashton, a board-certified physician in obstetrics and gynecology, is on the attending staff of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, N.J., an affiliate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Her private medical practice, Hygeia Gynecology, treats women in Englewood for both medical and surgical gynecologic conditions.

Most recently, Dr. Ashton served as a medical contributor for Fox News, from 2006 into this year. During that time, she also was a featured expert on XM Radio's "Oprah & Friends" with Dr. Mehmet Oz and appeared on PBS and on The Learning Channel's "A Baby Story."

Dr. Ashton is a member of several professional organizations and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She's done clinical research and presented at national clinical meetings in the fields of general surgery, critical care and gynecologic oncology. Dr. Ashton serves on the Board of Trustees of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanism in Medicine, is active with many charities and has been recognized for her philanthropic efforts by numerous foundations.

Her first book, on teenage health and wellness, is due to be published in December.

Dr. Ashton was born in Victorville, Calif. She graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University, in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in art history and from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2000 with an M.D, the same year she was awarded the prestigious Bartlestone Award in Pharmacology. She completed her residency in women's health and gynecologic surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, an affiliate of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Ashton served as Administrative Chief Resident and was awarded Chief Resident of the Year upon completing her residency.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Robert Ashton, a thoracic surgeon, and their two children.

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