The Louisiana State
Medical Society is a voluntary association of physicians providing
leadership for the advancement of the health of the people of Louisiana
and serving as the premier advocate for patients and physicians.
The LSMS is dedicated to
support the physicians of Louisiana in continually improving the
provision of quality health care for its citizens by creating a
an appropriate physician- patient relationship based on ethical,
intellectual, and scientific principles and the authority of the
physician in defining what constitutes the practice of medicine,
all members regarding
trends and other issues that affect them personally and/or
to members and the general
public the recommendations of the Society, its purpose and the
essential role of physicians in health care,
and attempts to influence
agencies regarding the essential role of physicians in the provision
of healthcare, and
that support physicians personally and professionally.
Councils and Committees
The House of Delegates is the
official policy-making body of the LSMS. This legislative entity meets
annually and consists of delegates and alternate delegates representing the
society districts and special sections.
Board of Governors serves as
the trustee and the administrative board of the LSMS and transacts all
business for and on behalf of the Society in the interval between House
Board of Councilors
serves as an appeals board for member to member disputes that cannot be
resolved on a component society level, reviews issues regarding medical
ethics and acts as a liaison to the component societies and members in the
are established in the Society bylaws and are expected to meet at least once
a year to perform duties as specified by its charge, the House or the Board.
Council on Legislation consists
of a representative from each of the ten medical districts. Each
member serves a three-year term. The Council on Legislation directs
the Society's legislative activities through the Department of Governmental
Affairs in Baton Rouge. The committee can elect its own Chairman.
Resident Section and
Medical Student Section
provide residents and medical students greater participation in the
affairs of the Louisiana State Medical Society and a more direct role in
Journal of the Louisiana
State Medical Society
Political Action Committee
Research Foundation (ERF) was established by the LSMS for the purpose of funding educational programs
like CME, scholarships, and
other activities to enhance the educational opportunities for physicians
and medical students in Louisiana.
LSMS Physicians Services, Inc.
(LPS) is a wholly owned
subsidiary of the Louisiana State Medical Society and offers a wide
array of products and services to its members.
LPS was created by a
resolution adopted by the 2000 House of Delegates, which directed the
LSMS to establish a separate corporation to offer a variety of
products and services to its members. LPS was formed on May 15, 2001.
LPS signed a Management Agreement with the OMNI Group, L.L.C. (OMNI)
naming OMNI as the exclusive marketing and administrative agent for
the products and services offered by LPS.
The objective of LPS
is to provide physicians with the best possible products and services
available. If you are interested in any of the products or services
listed above, please contact the OMNI Group, LLC
at 1.888.249.4242. If you are interested in any of the health
insurance plans, please call OMNI 45 to 90 days before the renewal
date of your current policy.
Louisiana Medical Political Action Committee (LAMPAC)
In the 1960s, the AMA
recognized the importance of involving the individual physician in
politics and responded by establishing the American Medical Political
Action Committee (AMPAC), one of the first political action committees
formed in this country. Each state medical society also formed a
medical PAC; in Louisiana, this committee is called the Louisiana
Medical Political Action Committee (LAMPAC), which is an affiliate of
the Louisiana State Medical Society.
Through LAMPAC, the LSMS offers influence and involvement in the
electoral process to help elect candidates who fairly represent
important issues to the medical community. In addition, LAMPAC has
emphasized the importance of physicians becoming involved in the
elections phase of the political process.
Every year, there are critical legislative votes made in Baton Rouge
and in Washington, D.C. that have a major impact on the practice of
medicine. LAMPAC and AMPAC have proven to be valuable assets in
educating legislators about the concerns of medicine and LAMPACís
record of support for elected candidates is among the highest of any
medical PAC in the country. In fact, LAMPAC's success rate in the 1999
election cycle was 96% in the races in which it participated.
LAMPAC is governed by
a physician board of directors who represent each of the 10 LSMS
districts, plus two LSMS Alliance representatives. Endorsements and
support for election campaigns are made with recommendations from the
LSMS Council on Legislation as well as local physician input.
LAMPAC must continue
to be fully funded to meet the many requests of friends of organized
medicine. Several levels of membership are available in our
Join LAMPAC section.
The purposes of the
Louisiana State Medical Society Alliance (LSMSA) shall be exclusively
educational and charitable.
Assist in those
programs of the Louisiana State Medical Society that improve the
health and quality of life for all people;
understanding of the purposes
and ideals of medicine;
health-related, charitable endeavors; and
participation of volunteers in activities and meet health needs;
Cooperate with and
assist parish auxiliaries/alliances; and
Serve as liaison
between the American Medical Association Alliance and LSMSA members.
In the late 1700s, the Louisiana
Territory was growing as a region for trade and water transportation.
New Orleans was becoming a center for this new commerce. It was also
becoming a center for medical care due to a burgeoning population and
the maladies that came along with growth and activity. In these early
years, a number of French and English-speaking medical societies were
formed on the belief by these early medical practitioners that there
was a need for close professional association. However, usually due to
cultural and political differences, these societies came and went; as
soon as one would disappear, another would be formed to fill the void.
There was interest as
well in other parts of the state in organizing local medical
societies. The first parish medical society is said to have been
formed in St. Francisville in 1845 and was called the West Feliciana
Medical Society. Over the next 30 years, a dozen other local societies
were formed, most of which did not survive.
The first suggestion
to form a state organization appeared in an editorial in the New
Orleans Surgical Journal in 1846. The Attakapas Medical Society,
consisting of the parishes of St. Mary, Lafayette, St. Martin and
Vermilion, joined with the Physico-Medical Society of New Orleans in
1849 to form the first state medical society. The problems of travel
and communications made statewide coordination impossible at this
time, and after six annual meetings, the society ceased to exist.
Almost 25 years
passed before interest in a statewide society was rekindled. Two local
resolutions emanating from Shreveport and from Plaquemines Parish
called attention to the need for a statewide society. Thus, in 1878, a
time that saw a renaissance in Louisiana with the end of
Reconstruction and carpetbagger domination and the birth of a new
state constitution, 80 physicians representing 15 parishes gathered in
New Orleans on January 14-16 and formed the Louisiana State Medical
Association. The name would later be changed to the Louisiana State
Medical Society (LSMS). Since its inception in 1878, the LSMS has
worked for a singular purpose: to advance healthcare in the state of
A look at the agendas
and actions taken by these pioneering societies might surprise todayís
physician, not so much for their novelty and quaintness but for their
amazing similarity to important issues that confront the profession to
this day. A committee was appointed to consider and report on bills
submitted to the state legislature regarding health. Another would
look into medical issues, such as the rapid spread of disease and
compulsory vaccinations. And a need was voiced to examine the
possibility of establishing examining boards, answering questions of a
judiciary nature and developing a code of ethics. Early practitioners
also appeared to be cognizant of the importance of public relations.
For years following
the Civil War, too many untrained and poorly educated individuals were
practicing medicine. In response to this problem, the LSMS led the
long fight that ultimately established the first effective licensure
law in the state in 1894. This would prove to be the first of many
significant issues for which the Society would be the leader for
change to protect the public interest.
The functions and
responsibilities assumed by the early medical pioneers are still
recognized today. However, as medicine and the practice environment
have changed, the LSMS has faced more challenges, responsibilities,
and concerns and has added many new programs in its evolution. Yet the
seeds of social consciousness planted by those medical forefathers
pass on a tremendous responsibility to the physicians of today ó and
it is that responsibility which keeps the Louisiana State Medical
Society a vital and respected organization.
The material for this
brief history of the LSMS was taken from the Rudolph Matas History
of the Louisiana State Medical Society, Volumes I and II. In 1926,
the president of the LSMS, at the direction of the House of Delegates,
formed a committee to prepare a history of the LSMS and appointed Dr.
Rudolph Matas as the Chair. Additional information on medicine in
Louisiana can be found in the Rudolph Matas History of Medicine,
Volumes I and II.