Southern Medical Association Celebrates Centennial Year

May 01, 2006 at 03:05 pm by steve

When the Southern Medical Association (SMA) convenes its Annual Scientific Assembly this October in Charlotte, N.C., it will be doing so in honor of its Centennial Celebration. For a century, SMA has been offering physicians and others in the medical professions information, education and services that promote the highest standards of medicine. "We provide a complete armamentarium of practice management with resources for professional development, business development and financial management," said SMA's Executive Vice-President Ed Waldron. "But I think the most important thing about the SMA is that we're an apolitical organization. We do not spend any time lobbying at the local or national level. Our goals are to provide a platform for total practice performance." The Beginning The seed for SMA was planted in the late 1880s when Dr. J.B. Cowan of Tullahoma, Tenn., founded the Tri-State Medical Association. This group, composed of physicians from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, met regularly at the Read House in Chattanooga to learn from one another and find support in the practice of medicine. In October 1906, representatives of the Tri-State Medical Association met at the Read House with representatives of the medical associations of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee to explore the possibility of starting a "Southeastern District Branch of the American Medical Association." Since the AMA's meetings had become overly large, the idea was met with great enthusiasm. Thus, the Tri-State Medical Association was dissolved, and the SMA was born. The association's first annual meeting was held in Birmingham in September 1907. During the first few years of its life, the SMA attempted but failed to gain recognition as a branch of the AMA. In the meantime, it was forced to function as an independent organization with a favorable outcome. So in 1910, the SMA council recommended that all references to AMA "be striken out" of the SMA's constitution. With that, the SMA came into its own. Historical Highlights -In 1908, the same year Henry Ford introduced the Model T, the first issue of the Southern Medical Journal was published. -In 1918, the Influenza Pandemic began. SMA's annual meeting was called because not only were members needed at home, travel increased the risk of contagion. -Scientific exhibits made their first appearance in 1920 at the annual meeting in Louisville. -By the 1923, the SMA had grown so much in size and prestige that President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge received annual meeting attendees at the White House. -In 1924, the SMA's Women's Auxiliary was organized. -At the 1935 annual meeting, the Women's Auxiliary introduced a resolution to pay tribute to doctors every year, marking the beginning of Doctors' Day for SMA. -The somber wartime mood of 1942 led to the omission of entertainment from the annual meeting in Covington/Newport, Ky. Many SMA members were deployed overseas. -In 1952, a disability insurance plan was approved by the council, which marked the beginning of the SMA Insurance Program. -As Apollo 11 was landing on the moon in 1969, the SMA Research Project Fund and the Medical Student Scholarship Fund were established. -The SMA initiated the Physicians' Retirement Program in 1975. -In 1986, the SMA established the Educational Endowment Fund to provide funding for scholarships, research projects and other programs supporting the educational purposes of the association. -On Oct. 30, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the annual national observance of Doctors' Day into law. -Also in 1990, The Society of 1906 was established to encourage philanthropic involvement through the Southern Medical Research and Education Endowment Fund. -The new millennium saw SMA's first woman president, Dr. Jean Edwards Holt, take the reins of the association. SMA Serves In its 100-year history, SMA has maintained an unswerving dedication to excellence in the medical profession. As the association has grown, so have its services to physicians including its offerings of Medallion Level CME. Through its subsidiary, SMA Services, Inc., the association offers practice management services that integrate the clinical and business aspects of medicine while enhancing physician-patient relationships, and a variety of financial services. A council composed of physicians who know what it takes to be a physician in today's world directs SMA and SMA Services, Inc. Annual Assembly The SMA's 2006 Annual Scientific Assembly, the association's premier educational event, will take place October 12-15 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. Officially dubbed the organization's Centennial Celebration, the meeting will feature the theme "Disparities in Healthcare," and will encourage participants to examine the differences in access and use of healthcare services by various populations. During the meeting, the association will be pledging a five-year commitment to using its many areas of influences to effect recognition and change. In addition to educational opportunities in the form of lectures, case presentations and workshops, the assembly will provide a networking and mentoring forum for physicians, along with opportunities to exchange clinical information and participate in scientific sessions and poster presentations. The SMA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. For more information on SMA's 2006 Annual Scientific Assembly, visit

April 2024

Apr 23, 2024 at 10:42 am by kbarrettalley

Your April 2024 Issue of Birmingham Medical News is Here!