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Vanila Singh, MD

Dr. Vanila Singh is a Professor and Physician at Stanford University, who has always prioritized the well being of others in her community. Vanila is ready to bring her real world experience as doctor, parent, and community leader to Congress to help make a difference for middle class families in California.

Vanila is the embodiment of the American Dream. She is the daughter of hard working, immigrant parents who brought her to the United States when she was just a year old. She appreciates the opportunities and challenges facing Californians, having been in the Bay Area since the age of 4. Her father, a civil and structural engineer, has worked on some of the most famous structures in the area including the San Mateo Bridge, the SFO airport, and the recently completed San Bay Bridge. Vanila’s mother is a former bank processor and substitute teacher, who spent hours serving her community through civil organizations and volunteering. The values instilled in Vanila – the importance of family, hard work, respect for all individuals, and giving back to the community – are an integral part of who she is and why she has chosen to run.

Vanila grew up in the current 17th District and is a product of California’s public school system having attended Niles Elementary, Centerville Middle School, and Washington High School in Fremont. She studied hard and attended UC Berkeley majoring in both Economics and Molecular and Cell Biology, later choosing to pursue medical school at George Washington University. She met her husband there and they were married in 1998.

After spending a year as a medical intern at Yale New Haven hospital, Vanila was drawn to acute care medicine. She moved to New York City and completed her residency in Anesthesiology at Cornell Medical Center. Vanila further specialized into a field of pain medicine with a fellowship in Pain Management in a joint program between Cornell, Columbia, the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in Manhattan. Her passion to teach and mentor young medical students, residents, and fellows lead her to a career in academic medicine, which she began on the faculty of UCLA Medical Center.

In 2004, Vanila was appointed to the Faculty of Stanford Medical Center where she has been treating patients with complex pain management issues with dignity and compassion. She has been promoted to Associate Professor of Anesthesiology. Her passion to care has drawn her focus on those who truly suffer – a patient group often overlooked because of the difficult nature of their illnesses. She has been on the forefront of providing specialized anesthesia with medical imaging to help decrease adverse drug reactions, having been invited as lecturer around the country and internationally. Through her study of anesthesiology, Vanila practiced making rapid, complex decisions with life and death implications.

Vanila has taken a leadership role in education and training on our next generation of doctors, identifying gaps in medical care and helping rewrite our medical system training programs. She is the co-director of the teaching scholars program at Stanford and is pursuing her Masters degree in Medical Education as part of a program to help student doctors learn to communicate and work together with patients to improve their health outcomes.

After settling in Silicon Valley, Vanila and her husband welcomed two beautiful children and have been involved in their community. Recently, she served as an elected delegate and member of the Legislative and Practice Affairs Division to the California Society of Anesthesiology, where she participated in health policy initiatives designed to maintain quality of care while expanding access to the health care system.

Having successfully navigated a difficult career path, Vanila can appreciate the challenges for women in the workplace. She has taken an active role in promoting women’s issues including helping bring awareness to the persecution of young girls around the world. Vanila believes in equal opportunity, education and professional achievement for all people – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or beliefs.

Vanila still lives where she grew up, in California’s 17th District, with her husband and two children.