He was honored recently with a brief ceremony, at Memorial Care in Lincoln where he has practiced for more than 25 years. Rep. Bill Hauter and Sen. Sally Turner presented Dr. Wahab with the award alongside leaders from Memorial Health and the Illinois Rural Health Association, as well as Dr. Wahab’s co-workers and family members.
The award is given annually to an Illinois physician who has devoted their career to rural practice, made a positive impact on their community and served as a mentor to younger physicians.
“His passion and dedication to his patients and community are apparent through his involvement in key patient care initiatives and his service to others,” said Travis Dowell, president and CEO of Memorial Medical Group. “He has had an enormous impact on not only the lives of his patients, but the well-being of the entire Lincoln community.”
Dr. Wahab earned an undergraduate degree in biology at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in 1992 and went on to complete a residency at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. In 1997, he joined Memorial Care in Lincoln.
“He is often cited as the best or one of the best primary care physicians in our community,” said Dolan Dalpoas, president and CEO of Lincoln Memorial Hospital. “He is exactly the kind of physician we need to continue to provide exceptional care. I couldn’t imagine a better person to receive this award.”
During his career, Dr. Wahab has twice served as president of the medical staff at Lincoln Memorial Hospital and has also served on the nonprofit hospital’s Board of Directors.
He said that he was inspired to become a rural physician by his father, a surgeon who served patients in small towns in Kentucky and Mississippi before moving to Springfield. One of the most rewarding parts of working in a small town, he added, is the opportunity to get to know his patients on a personal basis.
“A lot of my patients are my friends,” he said. “I see them at church and in the community. My kids have grown up with their kids.”
His goal, he said, is to make sure his patients feel comfortable at each appointment and leave feeling that all their concerns and questions have been addressed.
“I want to make sure that my patients stay healthy as long as they can – mentally and physically,” he said.