History of the King County Medical Society

The Story of King County Medical Society

Since its founding in 1888, the King County Medical Society (KCMS) has been dedicated to helping physicians enhance the quality of life, relieve pain, and promote the health of individuals in our community.

Back in 1852, the first doctors arrived in Seattle. As the city grew, these physicians tackled public health issues head-on and provided care to those who couldn’t afford it. Naturally, they became community leaders.

Even before Washington became a state in 1889, KCMS was already making waves. Our founding physicians were deeply involved in political, social, and business activities, helping shape the early days of Washington.

In the summer of 1888, 23 Seattle physicians saw the need for an organization to address public health problems and maintain high standards of medical practice. On August 7, 1888, Dr. Gideon A. Weed and Dr. Thomas T. Minor, both former Seattle mayors, joined forces with other doctors to create the King County Medical Society. The first officers were Dr. Gideon Weed as President, Dr. F.V. Goodspeed as Vice President, Dr. J.B. Eagleson as Secretary, and Dr. L.R. Dawson as Treasurer.

From the start, the Society took action to protect the public by banning misleading medical advertising and launching educational programs to keep doctors informed about the latest medical advancements.

Our founders were not just doctors; they were pioneers. They helped draft the Washington State Constitution, held political offices that shaped health policies, and established medical libraries, publications, and hospitals. They were instrumental in creating the University of Washington and founding many of the hospitals we appreciate today, bringing in groundbreaking medical technologies like the state’s first bacteriology lab and regional x-ray machine.

Today, KCMS continues its proud tradition. We advocate for physicians and patients at every level of government and strive to promote the highest standards of medical practice. We collaborate with all health systems and impact patient care daily.

Join the Legacy of Greatness

Be part of this storied legacy. Join KCMS today and help us continue to make a difference. Encourage your colleagues to join, and talk to your organization about supporting KCMS memberships. Together, we can ensure that the voices of our medical community are heard and that we continue to uphold the highest standards in healthcare.