Physician of the Year

2017 Physician of the Year  – James Willis MD.

It is more than fitting and arguably overdue that the Placer-Nevada County Medical Society honors Dr. Willis for an outstanding and unmatched career taking care of patients, leading fellow physicians, and upholding our local and state medical societies.  Few if any doctors have had anything near the long and positive impact that Jim has had in all of these areas.

To give the briefest of descriptions of his full and colorful career, Dr. Willis did his pre-med work at UC Berkeley earning AB and MA degrees before moving on to earn his MD at George Washington University.  Jim practiced emergency medicine in Turlock from 1978-81, and family practice at UC Davis from 1981-83, before completing a residency in anesthesiology at UCD in 1985.  Practicing anesthesiology at (Sutter) Auburn Faith Hospital from 1986 through 2006 and super specializing as a pain management consultant, Jim improved the lives of thousands of patients, keeping them safe and comfortable.  A clinical instructor in anesthesiology at UCD from 1985 through 1989, Dr. Willis has for the last few years directed pain management services and was medical director of Summit Pain Management Institute and Nivano Medical Group.  He has been an expert reviewer for the medical board of California from 2010 to the present, and has been an ambulatory surveyor for the Institute of Medial Quality since 2009.

But this rich practice history and long list of medical contributions is only part of the story of all Dr. Willis has given during his career.  In addition to playing an active role in physician leadership at SAFH, Jim recently retired after 30 years on the board of directors of our Placer-Nevada County Medical Society, with his continuous leadership, experience, wisdom, and judgment, especially during tough and lean times laying the foundations for the current success of our association, setting the stage for our being consistently among the most vibrant, effective, and rapidly growing local med societies in California over the last 10 years.  When local medical societies throughout our state were failing and foundering, Jim’s leadership kept us going as he served in every major leadership position our group has, including terms as president of the board in 1993-94 and 2000-01.  Without the capable leadership of Dr. Willis, our local medical society could not have become anything near what it is today and would probably not still be in existence.  Jim has also made major long term contributions to the California Medical Association as CMA delegate from 1992 through 2015, and a member of the CMA Council on Legislation 2001-04 and 2008-11.  Dr. Willis has been and continues to be an exemplary role model for all physicians, in every aspect of medical practice, politics, and management.




Nominations for 2018 Physician of the Year are now being accepted.

The 2018 Physician of the Year award seeks to honor unique leadership qualities held by physicians within Placer and Nevada counties. The winner of this prestigious award will demonstrate a significant contribution to health care, be a leader for our community and be a true advocate for organized medicine. The Medical Society will honor this individual at our Membership Dinner, date to be announced

Submission Deadline is 1 1/2 months prior to event. 

Voting will open after February 2018

If you would like a nomination entry form emailed to you for completion, contact

Previous Winners

2017 – James A. Willis M.D.
2016 – Jeanne Conry, M.D., Ph.D., Obstetrician and Gynecologist, The Permanente Medical Group
2015 – Thomas Stanko, MD


The Placer Nevada County Medical Society's mission is to promote the science and art of medicine, the care and well being of patients, the protection of public health and the betterment of the medical profession.

Copyright 2015 - Placer Nevada County Medical Society

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Placer-Nevada County Medical Society
4220 Rocklin Rd. Suite 5
Rocklin, CA 95677