As Dr. Michelle Quiogue puts it, a lot of people had to tell a lot of lies to keep her from learning that she was up for the 2013 Family Physician of the Year award.
Quiogue sits on the committee that reviews the nominees for the honor from the California Academy of Family Physicians, but her nomination was hidden from her until March.
"I didn't believe it at first because I had missed the meeting," Quiogue said while sitting in her Bakersfield office Wednesday.
Quiogue, who practices family medicine with Kaiser Permanente in Kern County, received the award last week in San Francisco. She said her role stumping for Kern Medical Center's family medicine residency program last year when it was on the chopping block, and the community's outpouring of support for the program, played a big part in the award.
"What I said up in San Francisco is that I really just accepted the award on behalf of everyone that came out" to a Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting on the topic, she said. "It was everyone's testimony that really turned their decision around and saved the program."
Among Quiogue's many professional positions, she is the president of the Kern County Academy of Family Physicians. She also chairs the California Academy of Family Physicians' communications committee and is the editor of its statewide magazine.
The academy praised Quiogue for her advocacy for the residency program, volunteering for Kaiser's mobile health vehicle program and bringing a program to pique middle school students' interest in medical careers to Kern County, according to a news release announcing the award.
"She is well-loved by patients and respected by colleagues locally, state- and nationwide," CAFP President Dr. Mark Dressner said in a news release.
Quiogue graduated from Brown University in 2000 and completed her residency at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. She came to Kern to work for Clinica Sierra Vista for four years to fulfill her National Health Service Corps scholarship, which paid for her medical education.
"I chose family medicine because I believe in prevention," she said. "I believe that family medicine is really the solution to what's wrong with health care in a lot of ways. If you believe in community health and family medicine, you're going to work to protect the workforce and the pipeline."
-- Staff writer Rachel Cook