Gov. Gavin Newsom recently appointed longtime local physician Dr. James M. Healzer to the Medical Board of California.

Healzer has lived in Los Altos for more than two decades and has been practicing medicine for longer than that, specializing in anesthesia and internal medicine. He is chair of the chiefs of quality at The Permanente Medical Group as well as a staff anesthesiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center.

Healzer graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, then completed his residency in internal medicine at UC San Francisco, followed by a residency in anesthesiology at Stanford University.

Healzer was appointed in June as one of the eight physician seats the governor names. The seat, which requires State Senate confirmation, is a volunteer position. If confirmed, Healzer will be serving in the position on top of his day job.

The Medical Board of California is a state government agency comprising 15 people: eight physicians and five public members appointed by the governor, one public member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and one public member appointed by the State Senate Rules Committee.

The Medical Board of California licenses physicians, maintains a public record about said licensed physicians and investigates complaints against physicians, according to its website. The board also exercises “vigorous, objective enforcement of the Medical Practice Act.” In layman’s terms, the board is supposed to strictly follow laws that govern the practice of medicine and is tasked with enforcing them.

Healzer said he is excited to have the opportunity to help maintain a high level of medical care for Los Altos residents and the people

of California.

  “My experience as a practicing anesthesiologist and with physician peer review will inform my work as a board member,” he said, “and will help me support the board’s mission to protect consumers and promote safe, high-quality medical care.”

Healzer’s confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled. When the date is finalized, it will be posted on the California State Senate Calendar at The hearing is open to the public; people also may submit comments.