San Diego physician Robert E. Wailes, M.D. was installed as president of the California Medical Association (CMA) at the association’s 150th annual House of Delegates (HOD) on Saturday, October 23, 2021. Due to the ongoing public health emergency, this years meeting was conducted virtually.
In his address to the delegates, Dr. Wailes recognized the great challenges and great accomplishments the profession of medicine faced over the past year.
“Working together our state became an example for others to follow on our pandemic response and vaccine efforts,” said Dr. Wailes. He also noted, however, that our progress went far beyond the pandemic.
“In the past year, CMA revised its mission statement to include health equity and justice as core to our mission. That part of the mission statement is more than just words on a page. It is a value proposition that we should all take seriously and work towards. Under my presidency ensuring health equity will be a priority for me and CMA as we move toward changes in both public policy arena and in the house of medicine to make that a reality.”
Before serving as president-elect over the last year, Dr. Wailes served as chair of the CMA Board of Trustees for the three years and as vice chair for three years before that. He has also served as president of the San Diego County Medical Society and represents the American Academy of Pain Medicine at the American Medical Association.
Dr. Wailes has been providing pain medicine services in Southern California for more than 30 years, and has lived with his family in Carlsbad since starting his practice in 1984.
During the meeting, delegates also received critical updates and provided feedback on important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine. This year’s major issues were Racism and Other Barriers to Health Equity and the Corporatization of Health Care, and included online discussion forums, a virtual townhall and a live seven-hour broadcast from the command center in Sacramento, with hundreds of physician delegates and staff logging in from across the state.