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News & Press: DCMS & Member News

Helping Physicians Care for the Health of our Community

Thursday, February 14, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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The Duval County Medical Society (DCMS) was founded in 1853 as the first medical society in Florida and continues to serve as the voice for organized medicine in Duval County. At that time, nearly 166 years ago, a handful of physicians, 'disease weary' because of smallpox, dengue fever and malaria that had taken its toll on the citizens of Northeast Florida, met and formed the DCMS. Those physicians were passionate about caring for the health of this community, and today, well over a century later, our nearly 2,000 physician members continue to carry that passion.

We have physicians who lobby state legislators on bills impacting healthcare. We have physicians who travel around the globe to provide medical care to the underprivileged. We have physicians who donate time to treat the uninsured here in Jacksonville. We have physicians serving nationwide in roles within organized medicine. Simply put, we have physicians that don’t just ‘say,’ they ‘do.’

Times may have changed. We no longer have to worry about smallpox or dengue fever in Northeast Florida. But what hasn’t changed is the reason you – our physician members – are part of this Society. You care about the people and health of this community and you want to make a difference. And that's why our job at the Medical Society is to care for you, our members.

Here is just a look at just some of what we're doing on a daily basis to help you and your practice:



Each year, we closely monitor proposed legislation that could impact the delivery of healthcare in Florida and work alongside our lawmakers to ensure the voice of the physician is heard. We work to keep you abreast on these developments through our weekly E-newsletter, CME events, posts on social media, and more.

Another important part of advocacy for the DCMS is working alongside the Florida Medical Association (FMA) and American Medical Association (AMA). This cooperation only occurs because of the dedication of our members willing to serve in roles both statewide and nationally. Each summer, more than two dozen of you travel to Orlando to participate in the FMA House of Delegates. As one of the largest delegations in the state, we are able to ensure the voice of Northeast Florida physicians is heard in all decisions made at the state level of organized medicine.

Leading by example, our very own DCMS Past President Dr. Ashley Booth Norse currently serves as FMA Vice-Speaker. DCMS Past-Presidents Dr. Tra’Chella Johnson Foy and Dr. John Montgomery were elected this year as FMA Delegates to the American Medical Association. Dr. Mark Dobbertien was elected to serve as the FMA Surgical Specialty Board Representative.

At the state level, Dr. Mobeen Rathore currently serves as the District B representative to the FMA and at the national level, DCMS Past-Presidents Drs. W. Alan Harmon and Thomas Peters, and DCMS Treasurer James St. George currently serve as delegates to the AMA alongside Drs. Montgomery and Johnson Foy.



The DCMS and DCMS Foundation are committed to the continuing education of our physicians by providing CME opportunities free of charge to all DCMS members. These opportunities are available through the monthly DCMS medical journal Northeast Florida Medicine and through our website at Our "Free CME of the Month" ensures our members have plenty of opportunities to receive enough credit to renew their medical licenses. Among our free options are the required Prevention of Medical Errors, Domestic Violence, and HIV courses.

DCMS members also have the opportunity to become CME authors by writing articles for our journal and our online CME portal. If you are interested in participating, please contact the DCMS at

The DCMS and DCMS Foundation also periodically organize live CME events on topics that are current and relevant to the physician membership.



We recognize the serious issue of physician burnout both within our community and around the country. In fact, 78% of physicians reported experiencing burnout in a report by The Physicians Foundation in September 2018.

To support our members in need, the DCMS Foundation created the LifeBridge Program. Every DCMS Member has the ability to access a completely confidential helpline, which will arrange a live one-on-one session with a professional counselor within 24 hours. The Foundation pays for your sessions (up to six per calendar year), and most importantly, your name is never shared with the Foundation, the DCMS, or your employer. Even more importantly, the program does not create an electronic medical record, so no information will go to your insurance or the Board of Medicine.

LifeBridge is available to provide support and resources for those suffering from burnout, family issues, or other difficulties. This program is already recognized by DCMS members as one of the top member benefits. The 24/7 appointment line is available at (904) 447-LIFE


Developing Leaders:

 The DCMS Leadership Academy, now in its 4th year, is a 3-day curriculum based leadership training program that ensure physicians can enhance their skills in the areas of team building, management, strategic planning, culture change, and more. With a long history of DCMS members serving in state and national roles within organized medicine, the Leadership Academy ensures that we will continue to develop future leaders.


Membership Events: 

While advocacy and education are vitally important, the DCMS also aspires to build camaraderie among the physicians of Northeast Florida. By hosting a variety of events, our members are able to network and collaborate throughout the year. Just a few of the events that we have planned for you this year are the Annual DCMS/Navy Dinner, the 2019 DCMS Annual Meeting & Future of Healthcare Conference, and the Annual Jaguars Tailgate Party.


Supporting Residents & Fellows:

The DCMS recognizes that our resident and fellow members have unique needs and that's why we continue to provide educational and social events for the more than 600 local residents and fellows who are members of the Society.

While young physicians are working hard learning to practice medicine, the most common request we hear is for education about what happens after residency. Our annual Life After Residency & Fellowship seminar focuses on showing residents the best way to transition to life and practice when their training program ends. Topics include finding the right job, negotiating the perfect contract, and managing student loan debt. This program is made possible through collaboration with the local hospital programs.

Each year, the DCMS also provides opportunities for residents and fellows to showcase their research through a poster presentation at the Future of Healthcare Conference.

Finally, we also like to provide some opportunities for fun! Our Beers with Peers events give trainees an opportunity to network with physicians from the other local hospitals while learning about the DCMS, our programs, and organized medicine.


Helping Physicians Care for the Health of our Community

The mission statement of the Duval County Medical Society has and continues to be, “helping physicians care for the health of our community.” Whether it’s through education, advocacy, fellowship, volunteer opportunities, or wellness initiatives, we will continue to support our members each and every day. We know you have a lot on your plate as physicians: electronic medical records, governmental regulations, malpractice concerns, and lower reimbursements to name a few. No matter what you are going through, know that you can always turn to us at the Medical Society for help, advice, or even just a listening ear. 

If you need anything, please call us at 904-355-6561. You can also reach our Chief Executive Officer, Bryan Campbell, directly at 904-353-7536.