Dr. Santos Cortez Jr. was born in Tulare, California and raised in Southern California. He attended Cerritos College, Cal State University Long Beach and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1976. He obtained his specialty certification in Pediatric Dentistry and earned certification in Hospital Dentistry and Cleft lip/Cleft Palate Rehabilitation at USC in 1978. Dr. Cortez has been a Clinical Assistant Professor at USC in the department of Advanced Pediatric Dentistry since 1979. He has been on staff at Miller Children’s Hospital since 1982 and has been in private practice since 1978. Dr. Cortez has served as a member and officer for a number of professional and community organizations.
Currently, he is a clinical instructor at USC in the department of Advanced Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Cortez is an Advisor at the Children’s Dental Health Clinic in Long Beach and also is a consultant for the southeast Head-Start program. He is past chairman of the Miller Children’s Hospital Advisory Board as well as past-president of the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Cortez has been on the Cleft Palate Board at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center since 1982. He has completed a term as the dental representative to the Healthy Families Program Advisory Panel and is a member of the First 5 California Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. Cortez serves on the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors and the Memorial Health Services Board of Directors. He served as chair of the Government Affairs Council for the California Dental Association from 2006-2009, as well as the inaugural chairman of the Long Beach Children’s Oral Health Task Force.