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.”

Today, CMA serves more than 44,000 physician members in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to serving its members through a comprehensive program of legislative, legal, regulatory, economic and social advocacy. We know that in today’s economic and political climate, physicians are being assailed from many directions. CMA provides the needed support to empower physicians to focus on providing quality patient care.

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


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