Arizona Physician

Arizona Physician



The purpose of the Pima County Medical Society shall be to secure unity and harmony in the medical profession in Pima County; to bring together in one organization all reputable, ethical and competent physicians of Pima County for the purpose of maintaining high standards in the medical profession in Pima County, and for the purpose of promoting the respected high reputation to which the medical profession’s history and achievement entitle it, and to promote the science and art of medicine; to develop a high type of ethical practice among its members; and to conserve and promote the public health.

Pima County Medical Society is one of Tucson’s oldest institutions.

In 1903 the American Medical Association made it a “responsibility of¬†professionalism” to belong to a county¬†medical society. If one did not exist, then physicians were charged with starting one.

In 1904 Yavapai and Pima counties got on the stick. Physicians there started county medical societies to “gather in one place all the reputable regular physicians” in order to increase science, protect the public health and to place medicine in the “high light” to which learning entitles it. Other counties (except Maricopa which had started in 1891) started societies before 1910.Since 1904 Pima County Medical Society has been a gathering place for physicians to address concerns.Historical highlights include:

  • Calling for, in 1909, a state lab so disease outbreaks could positively identified
  • Working for, in 1919, better quarantine laws as they battled at great risk the influenza outbreak
  • Helping to establish, in 1929, the nation’s first city/county health department
  • Agreeing to staff and run – at no charge – Pima County Hospital from 1939-1961
  • Buying vaccine and giving it to kids in 1963, making Tucson the first polio-free metro area in the United States
  • Creating the first HMO and attempting to end the notch group in 1975
  • Treating striking miners and their families for free in 1983
  • Working to pass Prop. 203 in 1996
  • Creating a referral network for those without insurance