Living the Dream
Beach Cities Medicine founder Dr. David Wallis strives to reinvent health care as it should be.
Divided loyalties. It’s a health care issue that commonly impacts doctors, who find themselves torn between the requirements of the volume-based health care system and the needs of their patients. After David Wallis, MD, practiced for more than two decades as a South Bay family and sports medicine physician, the solution for him was clear. In 2022 he opened his dream practice, Beach Cities Medicine.
“I find that patients want the same things I do,” he says. “In addition to clinical judgment and expertise, patients want more of my time, and I want to spend more time and be more thorough with them every visit. It just takes a different economic model to have the time and staff to do a great job.”
Dr. Wallis and his staff consider their patients like family. They recently installed a new in-house X-ray to up their level of service. They consistently go the extra mile to coordinate care and ensure that patients do not slip through the cracks in the fragmented health care system.
“Patients want better access when they are sick—and I want to be there for them,” Dr. Wallis shares. “It’s why we dedicate so many years and hours to our training and staying on top of the science. It’s crazy how we spend the rest of our professional lives in a frenzy.”
As a completely independent physician, Dr. Wallis enjoys practicing in a manner where his professional loyalties are undivided. “I get to go to work every day and take the best care of longtime friends. And I get to do it in a beautiful place with a great staff that’s stuck with me for years. It’s amazing.”
A Dream Deferred
For years Dr. Wallis nurtured his goal of working as a solo practitioner. After his training at UCLA and UC San Diego, he bought the domain beachcitiesmedicine.com in 2002 with the intention of opening his own private practice. Over the next 20 years Dr. Wallis worked with premiere primary care groups in the South Bay, developing long-standing relationships with specialists and honing his clinical experience.
Board-certified and fellowship-trained, Dr. Wallis is highly regarded by patients and colleagues. He works with athletes—from recreational to professional—and has served as a team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the LA Galaxy, Chivas USA, the U.S. National Soccer Team and others. He is an expert reviewer for the Medical Board of California and has published more than a dozen academic journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics.
Living by Example
Dr. Wallis practices what he preaches—staying active, enjoying adventures and spending time outdoors. He has completed several marathons including Boston, several triathlons including five Ironman races, and other endurance adventures such as Paris-Brest-Paris—a 1,200 km race dating back to 1891.
He strives to help patients focus on a more holistic definition of health. “I’m a big numbers and data guy, but health is so much more than that,” he points out. “Body, mind, and soul—they all need our attention. It’s way too easy in our fast-paced and distracted society to neglect any one of these. I may not have a pill to fix everything, but I encourage my patients just as I would any other friend and help them achieve their goals in each of these arenas.”
“We love the South Bay,” Dr. Wallis says of his family, which includes his wife of more than 25 years and their four teenage children. “However, as great as our bubble is, our world is so much bigger. We want to help others wherever they are.”
Dr. Wallis first went into medicine after spending a summer working at a hospital in Nigeria. He continues to use his time, talent and treasure to help others. Recently he completed a two-week medical mission trip to Nepal, where he served in remote villages in the Himalayas and assisted a caste described as “untouchable” outside Kathmandu.
“It’s invigorating and challenging at the same time,” he says. “We’ve been blessed with so much. I believe we were blessed to be a blessing—not just because we’re somehow more deserving. It’s so easy to lose that perspective.”
A Dream realized
Personalization, communication, dedication and integration. These, Dr. Wallis believes, are the four pillars of a great personalized-medicine practice.
“I was hesitant to go into concierge medicine because the name just sounds too bougie—and I’m not a bougie kind of guy,” he laughs. “I can’t even get myself to wear a white coat or get a haircut! But I love the entrepreneurial spirit. How lucky am I to have the setting, incentive and freedom to constantly work to build the best practice around?!””