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Dr. Wright was born in Montreal, Canada, and raised in upstate New York near Potsdam. He moved to Ventura, California as a teenager and graduated from Occidental College with honors. He received his medical degree from the University of Southern California and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor society his junior year. He did his medical internship and residency at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences. He was an intern with Dr. Ungerer and they became long time friends and ultimately practice partners. Dr. Wright was Chief Resident in Medicine at UCLA Hospital and did a three-year fellowship in nephrology (kidney diseases). In 1983 he joined the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic and met Dr. Kupperman. As Dr. Wright shared call coverage for critically ill patients with Drs. Kupperman and Ungerer, he decided to change fields and go back to UCLA for further training. After completion of a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at UCLA, Dr. Wright became a full time faculty member of UCLA’s Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

In 1990 Dr. Wright was recruited back to Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic where he held several important positions including Chief of the Department of Specialty Medicine and member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Wright was one of two physicians on the team that facilitated the merger between the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic and Sansum Clinic. He remained at the newly formed clinic until 2004 when he went into private practice. 


Over the years, Dr. Wright has been very active in the medical community and at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He was the Chief of Staff of Cottage Hospital from 2004 - 2005 and was the President of the Santa Barbara County Medical Society in 1999.  He has also been Chairman of the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and has been on many key hospital committees including the multidisciplinary peer review community and the Medical Advisory Panel (MAP). He has also been named Teacher of the Year by the housestaff of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and has received the excellence in teaching award multiple times.  He is the co-author of at least twenty articles in the medical literature. He has published articles in the journals Chest, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, and Medical Mycology.


Dr. Wright continues his affiliation with UCLA and is Chairman of a course in pulmonary medicine for UCLA students.  He is Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA (David Geffen School of Medicine). He is currently the Medical Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.


Dr. Wright is married with four children. Favorite activities include alpine skiing, SCUBA, golf and fly fishing.

Download Curriculum Vitae



Education & Training

  • UCLA Medical CenterFellowship

  • VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Fellowship

  • UCLA Medical Center Fellowship

  • UCLA Medical Center Residency

  • Keck School of Medicine of USC


Certifications & Licensure

  • CA State Medical License1978 - 2018

  • American Board of Internal Medicine Nephrology

  • American Board of Internal Medicine Internal Medicine

  • American Board of Internal Medicine Critical Care Medicine

  • American Board of Internal Medicine Pulmonary Disease


Awards, Honors, & Recognition

  • Fellow American College of Chest Physicians

  • Fellow American College of Physicians

  • Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons(Canada)

  • President Santa Barbara County Medical Society 1999

  • Chief of Staff Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital 2004-2005

  • Teacher of the Year Award, 1992-93, Internal Medicine Residency, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

  • Physician Award for Outstanding Collaborative Practice, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, 1997

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society(elected junior year)

  • Vitals Patients’ Choice Award 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016

  • Strathmore’s Who’s Who Honors


Publications & Presentations

Research Papers (Peer Reviewed):

  • Winsor T, Wright R, Berger H.  Isoproterenol Toxicity.  Am Heart J 1975; 89:814-817.

  • Wright RS, Feuerman T, Brown J. Neurogenic Pulmonary Edema After Trigeminal Nerve Blockade.  Chest 1989; 96:436-438.

  • Orr E, McKittick J, D’Agostino R, Fisher G, Wright R, et al.  Multiple Complications, Including Paraplegia of Intra-aortic Balloon Pump Support:  Report of a Case.  J Cardiovasc Surg 1989; 30:1013-1014,

  • Wright RS, Levine MS, Bellamy PE, Simmons MS, Batra P, Stevenson LW, Walden JA, Laks H, Tashkin DP.  Ventilatory and Diffusion Abnormalities in Potential Heart Transplant Recipients.  Chest 1990; 98:816-820.

  • Wright RS, Kupperman JL, Liebhaber MI.  Bilateral Tension Pneumothoraces After Acupuncture.  West J Med 1991; 154:102-103.

  • Wu H-D, Wright RS, Sassoon CSH, Tashkin DP.  Acute Effects of Smoked Marijuana of Varying Potency on Ventilatory Drive and Metabolic Rate in Habitual Marijuana Smokers.  ARRD 1992; 146:716-721.

  • Wright RS.  Forum - Who Should Perform Thoracoscopy?  Letter to Editor.  Chest 1992; 102:1555.

  • Tashkin DP, Clements PJ, Wright RS, Gong H, Simmons MS, Lachenbruch PA, Furst DE.  Interrelationships Between Pulmonary and Extrapulmonary Involvement in Systemic Sclerosis:  A Longitudinal Analysis.  Chest 1994; 105: 489-95.

  • Wright RS, Quinones-Baldrich WJ, Anders AJ, Danovitch GM.  Pleural effusion associated with ipsilateral breast and arm edema as a complication of subclavian vein catheterization and arteriovenous fistula formation for hemodialysis.  Chest 1994; 106:950-52.

  • Liebhaber MI, Wright RS, Gelberg HJ, Dyer Z, Kupperman JL.  Polymyalgia, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Other Reactions in Patients Receiving HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors:  A Report of Ten Cases. Chest 1999; 115: 886-889.

  • Wright RS, Dyer Z, Liebhaber MI, Kell DL, Harber P.  Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis  Secondary to Pezizia domiciliana:  A Case of El Niño Lung.  Amer J Respir Crit Care Med 1999;160:1758-1761.

  • Wright RS,  Abraham JL, Harber P, Burnett BR, Morris P, West P.  Fatal asbestosis 50 years after brief high intensity exposure in a vermiculite plant.  Amer J Respir Crit Care Med 2002; 165:1145-1149.

  • Wright RS, Burdumy TJ. Acute Endotracheal tube occlusion due to use of an esophageal airway detector. Ann Emerg Med 2004; 43:626-629.

  • Dyer ZA, Wright RS, Rong IH, Jacobs R.  Back pain associated with endobronchial mucus impaction due to Bipolaris australiensis colonization representing atypical Allergic Bronchopulmonary Mycosis.  Med Mycol  2008; 46: 589-594.

  • Wright RS, Jean M, Rochelle K, Fisk D.  Chylothorax caused by Paragonimus westermani in a Native Californian.  Chest 2011; 140: 1064-1066.



  • Wright R, Hehls O, Ritz E, Coburn J.  Musculoskeletal Manifestations of Chronic Renal Failure, Dialysis and Transplantation.  In:  Bacon P, Hadler N., eds.  The Kidney and Rheumatic Disease.  Butterworth, London, 1982.

  • Coburn JW, Wright RS.  Use of 1,25-Dihydroxy-cholecalciferol in Patients with Renal Failure:  The Case for It’s Prophylactic Use.  In:  Narins R, ed.  Controversies in Nephrology and Hypertension.  Churchill Livingston, New York, 1984.

  • Gong H., Jr., Wright RS.  Sputum Examination; Arterial Puncture; Thoracentesis; Oxygen Therapy; Mechanical Ventilation.  In:  UCLA School of Medicine Clinical Orientations Handbook, 9th Edition, 1990.



  • Levine MS, Wright RS, Bellamy PE, Stevenson LW, Laks H, Tashkin DP.  Pulmonary Function tests in potential heart transplant recipients.  Am Rev Respir Dis 1989; 139:A241.

  • Wright RS, Sassoon C, Tashkin DP, Lee E.  Acute effects of smoked marijuana of varying potency on ventilatory and mouth occlusion responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia in habitual marijuana smokers.  Am Rev Respir Dis 1990; 141:A304.

  • Wright RS, Tashkin DP, Clements P, Simmons MS, Gong H, Jr., Lachenbruch PA, Furst DE.  Inter-relationship between the longitudinal rate of change of lung function and extra-pulmonary involvement by Progressive Systemic Sclerosis (PSS) and predictors of rate of change in lung function and survival in PSS.  Am Rev Respir Dis 1990; 141: A58.

  • Anders KH, Bergsneider M, Wright RS, Litman D, Vinters HV.  Primary cerebral and cerebellar hemorrhage in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).  Review of four patients.  J Neuropath Exp Neuro 1991; 50:325.

  • Dyer ZA, Wright RS, Liebhaber MI.  Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis from Pezizia Domiciliana:  A Case of El Nino Lung.  J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000; 105: S117.

  • Wright RS, Harber P, Abraham JL, Burnett B.  Fatal asbestosis 50 years after brief  exposure in a vermiculite expansion plant.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001; 163: A167.  Poster presentation at ATS, May 20, 2001, San Francisco.high intensity



  • Monda L, Wright R. Case 29-Renal Insufficiency Following Refractory Pneumonia in a Youth.   Practical Pathology of Chest Disease-Case Studies.  Warnock ML, McCowin MJ, eds, UCSF.


Other Media:

  • “Stowaways.” Monsters Inside Me.  Animal Planet-Discovery Channel. Santa Barbara. 28 Jul. 2010. Television.

  • “I have worms in my chest.” Diagnosis: Dead or Alive. Discovery Channel. Santa Barbara. 9 Jun. 2012 Television.



  • Investigator in the CRIT Study.  Corwin HL, Gettinger A, Pearl RG et al.  The CRIT Study:  Anemia and blood transfusion in the critically ill -- current clinical practice in the United States.  Crit Care Med.  2004; 32:39-52.  



  • Wright RS.  The relationship of health care coverage and justice.  Santa Barbara News-Press, Op-Ed, September 26, 1999.

  • Wright RS.  Trekking in California’s Backyard.  Santa Barbara News-Press, Travel Section, September 11, 2000.

  • Wright RS.  Pope allowed to die as he chose, with dignity.  Santa Barbara News-Press, Op-ED, April 10, 2005.

  • Wright RS.  Pulmonary and critical care of neurologically ill ICU patients.  NEUROtransmitter. A publication of Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute at Cottage Health.  Sumer 2015; 10-11.

Symposia and Recent Lectures

  • Wright RS.  Moderator of Healthcare in America: A commodity or a right?  Presented by the Santa Barbara County Medical Society, Santa Barbara City College, October 2, 1999.

  • Wright RS.  Airway remodeling: what really counts in asthma.  Sponsored by Medical Education Foundation and Glaxo Wellcome, Ballard, CA, January 20, 2000.

  • Wright RS.  Biology of Lung Cancer.  UCSB undergraduate biology.  March 7, 2000.

  • Wright RS, Asbestosis, UCLA Pulmonary Grand Rounds, March 22, 2001.

  • Wright RS.  New Approaches to Managing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.  20th Annual Pandora’s Box of Pulmonary Medicine, Sponsored by the American Lung Association of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, September 14, 2001.

  • Wright RS.  Sepsis.  Medical Grand Rounds, St. John’s Medical Center, Oxnard, CA, October 9, 2001.

  • Wright RS.  Management of COPD, Nurse Practitioners of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, October 9, 2001.

  • Wright RS.  Treatment of DVT/PE.  Sponsored by Aventis, Santa Barbara, CA, November 8, 2001.

  • Wright RS.  Deep Vein Thrombosis UPDATE:  Prophylaxis in Non-Surgical Patients & Inpatient/Outpatient Treatment.  Sponsored by Aventis, Santa Barbara, CA, May 30, 2002.

  • Wright RS.  Pulmonary Update.  Medical Grand Rounds, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, January 11, 2007.

  • Wright RS.  COPD.  Medical Grand Rounds, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, September 6, 2007.


Hospital Affiliations

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