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US honours Indian origin doctor

world Updated: May 15, 2007 15:28 IST

IANS
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The California state assembly has honoured a graduate of the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in recognition of his contribution to improving access to healthcare.

Anmol Mahal, president of the California Medical Board (CMA), was honoured with the Excellence in Medicine Award on Monday.

Mahal along with six other leading Asians and Pacific Islanders were honoured as part of the Asia Pacific Week Heritage month, media reported.

"Dr Mahal is a leading voice in California for improved access to healthcare and emergency care coverage for all customers," assemblyman Alberto Torrico said in a statement. Torrico is co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus, and nominated Mahal for the award.

"He has given an enormous amount of his time to improve healthcare by serving on several local, state and national commissions," he added.

Mahal was elected president of CMA last year and became the first person of Indian origin to head the 35,000-member organisation in America's most populous state.

The 56-year-old doctor works at Fremont's Washington Hospital and migrated to the US 33 years ago. He completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Stanford University Medical Center.

CMA has earned a national reputation in America as a leader in legal advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients. In the 1990's, it emerged as a leading advocate for improving the quality of healthcare.

Recently, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mahal to the board of trustees of the Health Professions Educational Foundation. He is a founding member and past president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin of Northern California.

Mahal's wife, Surjit, is a family physician. They have two children, daughter Subena and son Vikram.