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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. Founded in 1853, 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. Our main goal is to help physicians care for the health of our community.
A non-profit organization governed by an elected board of directors, the Society accomplishes its mission with the support of its physician members, the DCMS Alliance (i.e., physician spouses) and partnerships throughout the community. DCMS is chartered with the Florida Medical Association.
In 1853, 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 Duval County Medical Society. DCMS was founded 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 Duval County Medical Society predates the next continuously organized Society in Florida, by 20 years. The Escambia County Medical Society was founded in 1873.
Dr. Abel S. Baldwin, the second DCMS President, developed a procedure to cure intussuception. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Florida Medical Association. A plaque commemorates that the FMA was founded in his office on January 14, 1874.
Dr. Francis Wellford, DCMS President in 1870, volunteered his services during the Yellow Fever crisis in September 1877 in Fernandina. At the time he was serving as the president of the Florida Medical Association. After four weeks of working hard to save lives, he became ill and died of Yellow Fever on October 10, 1877.
Click here to see a full list of DCMS Past Presidents