Robert E. Wailes, MD

I did my undergraduate training at UC Berkeley where I got a degree in business administration with a major in finance and a minor in pre-medical sciences. I purposefully got special training in business to prepare myself for a political life as a physician. I was premed during all four years of my undergraduate training but was given good advice regarding what majors to choose. I was told to major in anything that is interesting and useful in addition to the sciences. This was good advice since I would be getting plenty of sciences during my medical school education. I was aware at the time that medicine was going to be changing over the next few decades. I wanted to be different than most types of doctors who then had the reputation for not knowing much about business or economics. My degree in finance allows me to understand the economic basis for many political decisions and has been very useful during my career as a physician. It has allowed me to contribute to the functioning and operations of many large organizations that need financial oversight.

During my four years at Wake Forest University School of Medicine I was very active in medical politics. I was the president of the local AMSA chapter as well as being a regional director for the Southeastern United States for my third and fourth years. This provided many contacts and a good foundation for future work in medical politics.

After my postgraduate training at UC San Diego in anesthesiology and pain medicine I started private practice in North San Diego County. My practice grew quickly and I have been providing pain medicine services for the last 26 years. My solo practice has now grown to a group of five including two physicians and three PAs. I opened the first single specialty pain medicine Surgery Center in California in 1990. Since that time I have received board certification from the American Academy of Pain Medicine and Added Qualifications in Pain Medicine from the American Board of Anesthesiology. Our practice remains very busy and is a leader in San Diego County for providing quality pain medicine services. We are fortunate to participate in many different research projects as part of our medical practice.

After getting established in my private practice I have been very involved in organized medicine. I have enjoyed many activities and leadership roles in our County Medical Society. After going through the many steps on our executive committee I am now president elect and will take over the presidency in June of this year. I have been especially active in our legislative committee acting as vice chairman to chairman Bob Hertzka. He has been an inspiring role model for numerous physicians including myself. I have been interacting with our legislators and community leaders for the last 10+ years trying to promote better health in many different venues.

I have also been fortunate to play an active role with the California Medical Association. I am now on my second three-year term as a trustee from San Diego on the CMA Board of Trustees. I am pleased to be one of the key persons on the finance and audit committees, helping to provide insight and supervision regarding the finances of the CMA. I've also been very active on the Workers Compensation Task Force for the California Medical Association. My pain medicine specialty has been very helpful in providing useful input regarding California's compromised workers compensation system.

I am also on the Board of Directors for CALPAC which oversees all of the political contributions for candidates in California from the CMA.  We are involved in many of the campaigns during each election cycle. More recently I have joined the Board of Directors for the California Medical Association Foundation.  This is a large Foundation with multiple projects including childhood obesity, chronic diabetes management in disadvantaged communities, smoking cessation and ethnic physicians.

On a more personal note I have three wonderful children and enjoy many personal hobbies.  I love many sports (including tennis, golf, skiing, snowboarding and occasional surfing) and traveling whenever possible.

In summary I feel very lucky to have a wonderful family and career along with a variety of gratifying roles in organized medicine.  I would welcome the opportunity to work with the AAPM as a representative to the AMA.  I would be honored to follow in the famous footsteps of Phil Lippe and Bert Ray.