An Indian American physician has been elected president of the California Medical Association (CMA) - first person of Indian origin to head the 35,000-member organisation.
Anmol Singh Mahal, 56, who works at Fremont's Washington Hospital, had migrated to the US 33 years ago after receiving his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. He completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Stanford University Medical Center.
CMA has earned a national reputation in America as a leader in legal advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients. In the 1990's, it emerged as a leading advocate for improving the quality of health care.
Soon after taking over his new position, Mahal said during his tenure he expects the CMA to build membership and confront the challenge posed by rising health care costs. He also drew attention to the need to provide health access to all Californians and to train more physicians.
For more than a century, the CMA has continued to ensure high quality care for all Californians through legislation, continuing medical education and peer review.
Mahal stressed that California needs to make a substantive investment in the health care infrastructure.
Over the years, Mahal has held numerous local, state and national positions in organised medicine in the US.
He is a founding member and past president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin of Northern California, and serves on its board.
He serves on the American Medical Association Commission on Eliminating Health Disparities.
He has been a CMA trustee for nine years and on the Executive Committee of CMA for four years.