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, in our 160th year, we are more than 12,000 strong and champion the same goals and ideals. As the largest physician organization in the state, the North Carolina Medical Society devotes itself to representing the interests of physicians and protecting the quality of patient care.
The mission of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is to unite, serve, and represent physicians in order to enhance physician advocacy for their patients and improve the health of the people of North Carolina.
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 11,000 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