San Diego anesthesiologist installed as CMA president

October 23, 2021

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, San Diego physician Robert E. Wailes, M.D., was installed as president of the California Medical Association (CMA) at the association’s annual House of Delegates (HOD). This year’s meeting was conducted virtually, due to the ongoing public health emergency.

In his address to the delegates, Dr. Wailes—a Southern California pain specialist and board-certified anesthesiologist—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 is the founder, co-owner and medical director of Pacific Pain Medicine Group in Oceanside and Encinitas. He is also an active member of the medical staffs at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas and Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside and serves as medical director for the Ketamine Research Institute.

Dr. Wailes earned his M.D. from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina and holds a bachelor’s degree in public finance and pre-medical sciences from UC Berkeley. He completed an internship at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego in 1982 and his residency at UCSD Medical Center in 1984.

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.

The full 2021-2022 CMA Executive Committee includes:

  • President: Robert E. Wailes, M.D., Oceanside/Encinitas
  • President-Elect: Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., Santa Cruz
  • Chair of the Board: : Shannon L. Udovic-Constant, M.D., San Francisco
  • Vice-Chair of the Board: Sergio R. Flores, M.D., San Diego
  • Speaker of the House: Tanya W. Spirtos, M.D., Redwood City
  • Vice-Speaker of the House: Jack Chou, M.D.
  • Immediate Past President: Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D., Watsonville


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