Vice-Speaker Candidate Message: Lawrence Cheung, M.D.

April 13, 2022
Area(s) of Interest: House of Delegates 

Per California Medical Association (CMA) Campaign and Election Protocols, CMA will send campaign-related communications to members of the House of Delegates on behalf of candidates, up to a maximum of three times per candidate during the year preceding the election. This content is entirely candidate-generated.

CMA does not endorse any individual candidate.

Dear Colleagues:

My name is Lawrence Cheung and I humbly ask for your vote to be your next Vice-Speaker of CMA. I am a dermatologist in solo private practice and I have been a proud member of CMA since I established my practice over 17 years ago. In my early days of practice, I knew that by being a part of the CMA family, I would be afforded the connections and resources to make my solo practice a success. As I became more involved with CMA, first as a delegate, then as reference committee member, and further as the chair of a reference committee, I came to fully appreciate the importance of the CMA House of Delegates (HOD) as a policy making body. Policy making is important because we have strong and effective advocacy teams at both Sacramento and Washington D.C., in addition to a stellar CMA delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA). I am happy to report that policies adopted by CMA often become AMA policies because of the hard work of our CMA delegation to the AMA. I know this because I have served as your Chair of the California Resolutions Committee in our delegation to the AMA and I have personally, and successfully, championed our adopted policies on the floor of the AMA HOD.

Currently, I have the privilege of serving as a Trustee of District VIII, after having previously served as the Chair of my Delegation and a member of the Council on Science and Public Health. Together with my role at our CMA delegation to the AMA, I am actively involved with the day to day activities of our HOD. I view the role of our Speakers as neutral referees, whose job is to move the business of our HOD while ensuring that all voices and opinions are heard. In essence, our Speakers are the ultimate servant leaders, as their roles exist solely to serve our House. In the CMA, we have a unique system in which our HOD meets physically (and now virtually) once a year but policy and debate occur year round. Therefore, our Speakers have the additional responsibility to ensure that each delegate has a voice in our deliberative body throughout the year. I can assure you that I will be fair and neutral; I will make sure that all perspectives are heard and that no opinion will be censored in our deliberation.

Beyond my experience in CMA, I will bring a breadth of life experience to the position. I served as the President of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society, in which I first learned how to distill the needs of a wide political spectrum, across different modes of practice, and diverse racial / cultural backgrounds, so that we could move forward together, as an organization, for the benefit of all of our members. I currently serve as a San Francisco Health Authority Commissioner, in which I oversee the managed Medi-Cal plan of San Francisco, which cares for our most disenfranchised and vulnerable population. I founded, and presided as the first national president, the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), a national organization that was created to specifically address unmet healthcare needs of the Asian Pacific Islander American community. I continue to be passionate about justice, equity, diversity, as well as inclusion, and I continue to advance these issues by serving on the board of the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP) and act as their liaison to the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The last time I ran for this office three years ago was the last time that we had an in-person HOD meeting. Things could not have been more different between then and now. As we struggle to move beyond COVID and to resume activities taken for grant prior to the pandemic, I am truly hopeful to see all of you, in person, at our next HOD in October. In these chaotic times, where we need to pivot from in-person to virtual meetings at a moment’s notice, I am the most experienced and qualified leader for this job. I served as Chair of the Rules Committee for the CMA HOD in 2020 (our first virtual HOD) and I currently serve as the Co-Chair of the Resolutions Committee of the PacWest Conference of the AMA (a position that essentially functions as a Speaker for a coalition of state medical societies to which CMA belongs) in our past two virtual meetings. I have been a member of the American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP) for the past four years and I have a deep understanding of the AIP parliamentary standard (the parliamentary procedure currently used at our CMA HOD). Whether our future HOD will be in-person or virtual, I am the experienced leader who will ensure that the business of the CMA HOD gets done. I will hit the road running. A vote for me will be a vote for you. As a physician, I have consistently advocated for my patient’s interest and as your Vice-Speaker, you can be absolutely sure that I will advocate for each and every one of you.

My most sincere thanks to you and for your service to the CMA HOD. I wish you my very best and I humbly ask for your vote as your next Vice-Speaker of the CMA.

Be well and stay safe,

Lawrence C C Cheung, MD FAAD FASDS


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