The Central Coast Medical Association honored Lynn Fitzgibbons, MD, as the 2022 Physician of the Year for Santa Barbara County. Nominated by peers, the award is for a physician who has worked to improve the quality of health care, contributed to the education of other physicians, and engaged in community service and other activities outside of medicine.
Dr. Fitzgibbons was born in Fiji and spent her younger years in Scotland before moving to the United States. She went to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was an All-American polo player and earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Dr. Fitzgibbons then received her Doctor in Medicine from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. She came back to the area for her Internship and Residency with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where she was one of the early clinicians with Doctors without Walls. She then served as a volunteer in Uganda treating HIV patients before going to Oregon Health & Science University for her Fellowship in infectious disease.
She is now the program director of the internal medicine residency program at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and is the Infectious Disease physician at the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, where she was previously Deputy Health Officer. She is also the Medical Director of the Cottage Center for Population Health, serves on the Cottage Health Institutional Review Board, and is on the board of the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.
Dr. Fitzgibbons is also an adjunct professor at UCSB, where she teaches classes on STD and drug epidemics from a spatial and geographic lens. In addition, she holds an academic appointment with USC Keck School of Medicine. During the COVID-19 epidemic, she worked closely with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the leadership at Cottage Health on many aspects of the clinical and public health response, with an emphasis on education, clinical care, and policy work.
When presenting the award at the Central Coast Medical Association’s Annual Membership Celebration, Dr. Edmund Wroblewski stated, “Dr. Fitzgibbons has made a better life for many people in our community.” Dr. Fitzgibbons thanked her family and colleagues for their support and hard work during the pandemic. She also encouraged everyone to remain connected to each other, which was the secret sauce that helped us get through these past few years.