Pennsylvania Medical Society
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|Karen Rizzo, MD|
|Michael R. Fraser, PhD, CAE|
|Mission||The voice of Pennsylvania's physicians, advancing quality patient care, the ethical practice of medicine, and advocating for the patients they serve. We promote physician leadership, education, professional satisfaction, practice sustainability, and the public's health.|
The Pennsylvania Medical Society is the professional association for the state’s physicians and physicians in training.
Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the non-profit organization represents about 17,000 physicians, residents, fellows, medical students, and practice administrators. Its mission is to represent physicians, support professional advancement in public health and public policy, as well as in medical science, education, practice, and ethics, and serve as patient advocates, both on the state and national levels.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society, which was founded in 1848, is a democratic organization governed by its physician members. It focuses on four guiding principles—patients, practice, politics, and professionalism.
Originally named The Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, when it was first founded in 1848, it became the 16th state medical society in the United States. Others included New Jersey, 1766; Massachusetts, 1780; South Carolina, 1789; Delaware, 1789; Connecticut, 1792; Maryland, 1798; Georgia, 1804; New York, 1807; Rhode Island, 1812; Vermont, 1813; Michigan, 1819; Virginia, 1821; Tennessee, 1830; Wisconsin, 1841; and Alabama, 1846. It was not until 1847 that these organizations formed the American Medical Association.
Prior to the founding of The Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, the Keystone State had few county or district medical societies. Those in existence were the College of Physicians, 1787; Philadelphia County Medical Society, 1796; Warren County Medical Society, 1821; Medical Faculty of Berks County, 1824; Franklin County Medical Society, 1825; Chester County Medical Society, 1828; Susquehanna County Medical Society, 1838; Mercer County Medical Society, 1843; Lancaster City and County Medical Society, 1844; Schuylkill County Medical Society, 1845; Northern Medical Association of Philadelphia, 1847; Lebanon County Medical Society, 1847; Mifflin County Medical Society, 1847; and the Medical Faculty of Montgomery County, 1847.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society was organized on April 11, 1848, at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lancaster. Today, at this location is an historical marker that reads "Founded April 11, 1848, at the First Methodist Episcopal Church on this site. Its purpose was to foster the advancement of medical knowledge, relieve suffering, and promote the health of the community. Samuel Humes, M.D. of Lancaster was the first president." The marker was dedicated on October 16, 1998. It is located at North Duke & Walnut Streets, Lancaster, or GPS coordinates LNG: -76.30512, LAT: 40.0429 
- Follows the motto "Doctors and Patients. Preserve the Relationship."
- Gives physicians vital information on public health, disease management, and patient safety
- Provides information to medical practices on insurance billing and coding, reimbursement, and running a more efficient practice
- Provides physicians with the latest changes from private insurers and Medicare/Medicaid
- Interacts with Pennsylvania’s insurers on issues of concern to physicians
- Represents physicians in Harrisburg on key medical issues
- One of the largest lobbying groups in Pennsylvania
- Supports resolution of the medical liability crisis in Pennsylvania
- Encourages physicians to give back to the profession and fulfill a physician's social contract with communities through volunteering and mentoring
- Staffs “Docs on Call” TV program, during which patients can call to speak to a doctor about a health issue
- A Century of Medicine, The History of the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, p. 1, 1952.
- Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pennsylvania_historical_marker_program/2539/search_for_historical_markers/300886, 2009