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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 10th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 44 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 44

A heart specialist with heart

BY FRANK GONZALES

Heart problems? If you have them and you are near Lompoc, then you should see Dr. Khawar M. Gul, the cardiologist who won Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s Physician of the Year Award for 2012 at the end of December.

“[Physician of the Year] is an award that is voted on by all the hospital staff, all the employees of the district, and they select the physician,” Jim Raggio, CEO of the Lompoc Valley Medical Center, said. Among the criteria the staff members use to select the yearly winner, Raggio listed “quality of their care, [being] easy to get along with, [and] responsiveness.”

The award is up for grabs for the 60 or so doctors who work in the different departments of the hospital. According to the hospital’s announcement of the winner, Gul has worked at the hospital since August  2010. He is a graduate of Rawalpindi Medical College, he completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and he completed fellowships in Cardiovascular Diseases and Cardiac Computed Tomography at the University of California, Los Angeles’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

When asked to comment on being 2012’s Physician of the Year, Gul said, “It was an honor to be chosen. There are so many talented [physicians] who could be Physician of the Year, but the fact that I was chosen by the employees of the hospital is a great honor.”

He added, “I moved from Los Angeles in August 2010 and, since I have been here in this small town, I have been loving every moment. It’s a great town; the people are very nice in the hospital and in the town. Everybody knows everybody. My dad was a physician in a small town and I can relate to that.”

Raggio added, “Dr. Gul is just a wonderful addition to the community. We’re really lucky to find someone to replace Dr. Coughlin [Dr. Gul’s predecessor], who was very difficult to replace. We’re very fortunate to have Dr. Gul here and I think it’s remarkable that, in a fairly short period of time, he’s been embraced by the staff and they appreciate and recognize his skill and we’re lucky to have him on board.”

Despite what the fictional Dr. Gregory House might have you believe, by winning this award Gul has underscored the benefits of expertise wrapped in friendliness.

Intern Frank Gonzales compiled this week’s Community Corner. Send comments or ideas to the Sun via e-mail at intern@santamariasun.com.