Brief History of the Association of American Physicians
The Association of American Physicians is a nonprofit, professional organization founded in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler and Dr. William Henry Welch, for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine.” The Association is composed of members who are leading senior physician scientists and are competitively selected. Currently we have over 1700 active members and approximately 600 emeritus and honorary members from the United States, Canada and other countries.
The goals of its members include the pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, individuals having attained excellence in achieving these goals, are recognized by nomination for membership by the Council of the Association. Their election gives them the opportunity to share their scientific discoveries and contributions with their colleagues at the annual meeting.
The first annual meeting of the Association was held in Washington DC in 1886. The members’ presentations at the annual meetings had been published in an annual volume called the Transactions since 1886. In 1995, the Association voted to replace Transactions with a bimonthly journal, Proceedings of the Association of American Physicians. The Proceedings strived to preserve the Association’s traditions of excellence in science and medicine and focused on original articles as well as reviews that ranged from molecular medicine to human biology, with commentaries, editorials, and letters to the Editors. The journal’s first Editor, Francois M. Abboud, M.D., is currently at the University of Iowa. Abboud was President of the Association of American Physicians from 1990-1991. The Proceedings is no longer published.
To be a member of the most prestigious Association of American Physicians is a great honor. Members have included Nobel laureates, and members of the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine. Each year, selected members of the international scientific community also nominated by the Council as honorary members of the Association. Today, the Association continues to serve as a repository of the best medical minds and as a forum to promote friendship, to create and disseminate knowledge, and to provide role models for upcoming generations of physicians and medical scientists.