CMA Doc: Vanila Singh, M.D.

December 04, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Anesthesiology Physician Leadership 

Photo Credit: Lea Suzuki, The San Francisco Chronicle

Name: Vanila Singh, M.D.
Specialty: Anesthesiology
City: Palo Alto
Member Since: 2014

Stanford anesthesiologist Vanila M. Singh, M.D., was recently appointed Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Indian-American physician has spent the past few months settling into her new role in Washington, D.C. and feels that, as an immigrant and a doctor, it is a privilege to be able to shape America’s health policy. “As a physician who has been closely involved with my patients, I feel I can bring their perspective to the table. My role in medical education at Stanford University will also help me in shaping medical policy matters,” Dr. Singh told Economic Times Magazine.

For the past 13 years, Dr. Singh has been a clinical associate professor of anesthesiology, preoperative and pain medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Board-certified in both anesthesiology and pain medicine, she specializes in treating patients with complex chronic pain issues.

Last month, Dr. Singh was integral in the launch of the National Pain Strategy, the government’s first broad-ranging effort to improve how pain is perceived, assessed and treated. “The opioid epidemic is impacting men and women of all communities, including Indian-Americans. Having been a clinical professor of anesthesiology at Stanford and specializing in chronic pain issues for many years, I have seen it from close up and have the necessary skills to address it,” Dr. Singh said. 

Dr. Singh has also been active in several national medical organizations, serving as the Vice Chair of the National Physicians Council on Health Policy; an editorial board member of the Pain Physician Journal for the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; and a member of the California Medical Association’s (CMA) House of Delegates. She also served on the CMA’s Council on Ethical, Legal and Judicial Affairs, and more recently, as a member of its Subcommittee on Health Information Technology.

William C. Parrish, Jr., Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Medical Association (SCCMA) said, "Vanila is extremely bright, passionate, personable, and well spoken. Her roles at SCCMA have been welcomed and appreciated. We are proud of her accomplishments and wish her continued success. We know she will an asset to the current administration."

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