OCMA Member Spotlight

John B. Luster, MD, M.P.H.

Dr. John Luster is a practicing family physician with a strong interest in preventive medicine and connecting, engaging, and empowering patients to take charge of their health. He is a past Chief of Staff at Chapman Medical Center in Orange, California, and in 2005, he was elected to the Organized Medical Staff Section Executive Board of the California Medical Association. Since 2014, he has served as the State Chair and represents California at the AMA-OMSS. He has been a frequent presenter at regional CME conferences on subjects relating to his interests in nutrition, exercise, and the necessity of joining together with his fellow physicians to re-assume a leadership role in health care in our country.

Dr. Luster was born and raised in the Seattle area, and, after graduating from the University of Washington, received his medical degree in 1977 from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. After post-graduate training, to fulfill his Public Health Service Scholarship commitment, he traveled to Beaufort, SC and served as a GP in the National Health Service Corps for the next three years in an underserved area of rural South Carolina. His patients there were poor in the material world but rich in spirit and welcomed a young doctor with a gracious kindness and acceptance that changed his life and led him to his career choice to be a family practitioner. He also noted in his time there how many of the common diseases he was treating were the result of preventable causes: lifestyle factors and behavior patterns, especially nutrition, that had received little emphasis in the treatment-oriented models of medicine of his training. 

To further pursue this, he returned to the West Coast after his NHSC commitment ended and received a MPH degree in Population, Family, and International Health from UCLA in 1982. This MPH year was a profound awakening to the broader health issues of the country and world, and while he appreciated the larger perspectives and great need of this work, he came back to the realization during his year there that his true place was with his patients, helping them as only their physician can. As a result, he moved to Orange County after the completion of his degree and opened his solo private practice as a family practitioner in Orange, California in 1984, where he continues to practice to the present time.

His initial active involvement with the OCMA and CMA came when he joined fellow medical staff physicians in the fight to save Western Medical Center and sister hospitals from take-over by physician-hostile ownership, and this led a long commitment with organized medicine that continues to this day. He holds strongly that physicians should make the ultimate decisions about what is appropriate care for our patients and how we are to practice, both in our offices, in our hospitals, and in directing medicine and the larger health policy decisions of the country. He has a great interest in medical staff affairs and the need to keep our medical staffs independent and self-governing, and as the ultimate advocates for our patients and profession, that physicians never abdicate this responsibility to others, no matter how powerful or monied. It is his goal that we have all our medical staffs in this state join and participate in the OMSS and have bylaws consistent with the CMA Model Medical Staff Bylaws, and he believes that if we did, we would start the critical process of taking back medicine in this State. He invites you to join him in this work.






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