The oldest professional organization within the state, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) began in 1849 when 25 physicians united to advance medical science and to raise the standards for their profession. Today, we are more than 12,000 strong and champion the same goals and ideals while representing the interests of physicians and protecting the quality of patient care.
Mission and Vision of the North Carolina Medical Society
Mission of the North Carolina Medical Society
To provide leadership in medicine by uniting, serving, and representing physicians and their health care teams to enhance the health of North Carolinians.
NCMS Vision Statement
In all our efforts, we will strive to:
- Protect the importance of the patient-physician relationship
- Promote safe, cost-effective, patient-centered care
- Promote physician leadership at all levels of the health care delivery system
- Improve the health of our population
- Enhance patients’ and caregivers’ experience of care
- Promote physician wellness
- Minimize administrative burdens of the delivery of health care in order to achieve this vision
North Carolina had many skilled and progressive physicians in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; it also had many untrained and unscrupulous practitioners who claimed the title of “doctor.” The lay public often couldn’t distinguish one group from the other. Even the physicians who had bonafide medical training recognized a need to improve medical education and promote a scientific approach to healing. It became obvious that all would benefit if physicians found a rallying point.
Attempts to organize the medical profession were made as early as 1790. In 1799, the state legislature approved a special act creating a corporation with the title: The North Carolina Medical Society.
Unfortunately, the original Medical Society languished and disappeared in the early 1800s. But the idea was too valuable to die. The present Society was organized in 1849, and it has held annual scientific sessions each year since then, except for three years of the Civil War and one year during World War II. Twenty-five physicians attended the organizational session in 1849. Today, the Society has more than 12,000 members.
For more of the history behind the NC Medical Society, see 150 Years of Leadership: The History of the North Carolina Medical Society’s Pioneering Physician Leaders