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History & Mission


Founded in 1853, the dcms was the first medical society in Florida, and serves as the voice for organized medicine in Duval County.

The Duval County Medical Society is a non-profit organization comprised of nearly 2,000 physicians who live or work in Duval County. DCMS is the oldest medical society in Florida with a rich history and bright future. In fact, DCMS was instrumental in forming the Florida Medical Association in 1874 in Jacksonville. 

A non-profit organization governed by an elected Board of Directors, the Society is chartered with the Florida Medical Association.

Mission & Vision:

Mission: Helping physicians care for the health of our community.

Vision: The Duval County Medical Society is indispensable to the Duval County physician community.

Core Values: The core values of the DCMS represent the four critical conditions for success of the organization:

  1. Education: Bringing necessary information to allow members to meet continuing education needs, stay on top of current trends, and improve the efficiency of their practices.
  2. Advocacy: Working with local, state, and national elected officials to promote legislation which preserves the rights of members to practice medicine, while maintaining high standards of care.
  3. Healthcare Quality: Working with members, hospitals, government agencies and other groups to provide the highest possible healthcare quality for residents of North Florida.
  4. Operational Excellence: Professional staff continually striving to improve the benefits of membership and the financial ability of the organization to support members and fulfill the Mission Statement


Quick Facts:

In 1853, a handful of physicians, 'disease weary' due to smallpox, dengue fever and malaria that had taken its toll on the citizens of Northeast Florida, met and formed the Duval County Medical Society in an office at the corner of Bay and Market Streets. Charter members included Dr. Abel S. Baldwin, Dr. William L'Engle, Dr. H.D. Holland, Dr. Charles Byrne, Dr. Richard P. Daniel, Dr. James G. Dell and Dr. John S. Murdoch.

The DCMS predates the next continuously organized Society in Florida, by 20 years. The Escambia County Medical Society was founded in 1873.

Dr. Francis Welford, DCMS President in 1870, volunteered his services during the Yellow Fever crisis in 1877 in Fernandina. At the time he was serving as the president of the Florida Medical Association. After working hard to save lives, Dr. Welford became ill and died of Yellow Fever in October 1877. 

Click here to see a full list of DCMS Past Presidents








Our history book, Florida's Pioneer Medical Society, is available for just $25!


 Want More Information?

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on our organization. You can email or call (904) 355-6561.