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KDMC physician called to duty

ASHLAND, Ky. — At King’s Daughters Medical Center, he is known as Dr. Pho Nguyen of Tri-State Radiology.

He is an interventional radiologist and board certified with subspecialty certification in vascular and interventional radiology.

He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; completed a residency at University of Tennessee and a fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.

What some don’t know, however, is he is also U.S. Army Major Nguyen.

Dr. Nguyen currently is serving a four-month tour in the U.S. Army Reserve at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) at Fort Campbell, Ky.

He is backfilling for a diagnostic radiologist who has been deployed to Iraq.

A second radiologist at BACH is leaving shortly for military duty in Iraq.

BACH serves 102,161 active duty and retired soldiers and their families.

Dr. Nguyen sympathizes with other service men and women and their families who balance their everyday jobs with military obligations.

“It can be very difficult to balance time between being a private practice physician and a member of the Army Reserve,” he said. He joins fellow reservists for annual training two weeks each year and typically one weekend per month. “It is even more difficult when you are activated for a three- to four-month rotation, because you can be sent anywhere in the world,” he said. In 2007, Dr. Nguyen was deployed to Al Asad, Iraq, for five months. He’s grateful to be in Fort Campbell this time, only five hours from his family in Ashland. “The hardest part of activation is being away from my family,” he said.

But most veterans and active military personnel also understand the pride and personal satisfaction of serving and protecting your country.

The clinical staff at KDMC and Tri-State Radiology partners miss Dr. Nguyen, and Dr. Nguyen especially worries about his interventional radiology partner, Dr. Wes Lewis, who picks up the slack in his absence.

“We are extremely proud of him,” said Mayola Boykin, M.D., president of Tri-State Radiology, “because we love our country. We can make sacrifices for him, as he makes sacrifices to support those troops serving overseas.”

“We support him and admire him and we love the United States. Serving our country is important to us,”

Dr. Boykin said. who is a former Army Major.

Dr. Nguyen joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a physician soon after medical school graduation in 2000.

The Reserves offered many opportunities for a young doctor. Also, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps (a colonel in the Vietnamese Navy where he fought side-by-side with U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War) and his older sister’s footsteps (a major in the U.S. Air Force).

KDMC is a locally controlled, not-for-profit, 465-bed regional referral center, offering comprehensive cardiac, vascular, medical, surgical, maternity, pediatric, rehabilitative, psychiatric, cancer, neurological, pain care, wound care and home care services. For additional information, visit us online at kdmc.com.