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Our Story

The California Medical Association (CMA) is a professional organization representing California physicians. The association was founded in 1856 by a small group of physicians who understood it was their duty to fight for their patients and profession. Confronted with the challenges of rampant quackery, epidemics of contagious disease, and a desperate need to establish standards for the profession, physician leaders of the time called upon their colleagues to help them form the Medical Society of the State of California (as it was called back then) “to develop, in the highest possible degree, the scientific truths embodied in the profession.”

For more than 160 years, CMA has pursued its mission to promote the science and art of medicine, protection of public health and the betterment of the medical profession. In recent history, CMA has contributed significant value to its more than 46,000 members with comprehensive practice tools, services and support including legislative, legal, regulatory, economic and social advocacy.

Moving forward, California physicians are looking to CMA to further reduce administrative burdens in their practices, support them in providing quality care and ensure they thrive amid industry consolidation. To best meet these needs, CMA has refined its value proposition to emphasize physician empowerment to lead the transformation of the health care system. CMA has released an ambitious 2020-2025 strategic plan that will empower physicians to lead and transform the health care system.

CMA History

Scroll through our timeline below to learn more about our history and past presidents.

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