Professional Medical Organizations

In health care, a large number of professional medical organizations help physicians stay current in their fields with up-to-date journals and research, as well as helping them learn about board certification in a particular specialty and about forming a community with other colleagues. Many of these organizations have resources specific to medical school students, which can be incredibly beneficial when trying to learn more about the particulars of a specialty and the type of training required to become a practicing physician in that field.

Medical Associations & Organizations

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), is comprised of 24 member specialty boards and helps oversee the certification of physician specialists in the United States. The ABMS primarily works with its member boards to help them evaluate and certify physician specialists, as well as helping them serve as an influential voice in maintaining and improving the quality of medical care.


The American Medical Association (AMA), describes its mission as promoting “the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.” The AMA strives to help doctors help their patients by working together on important professional and public health matters. The group maintains an array of physician resources, and its website has several articles on how to become a physician, how to choose a career in health care, how to find work, and more. Students and physicians alike can also turn to the AMA for information on graduate and continuing medical education.

The American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc. (AAPS), provides administrative, professional, and educational services to physician specialists. Founded in 1950, the organization works to meet physician needs according to the changes in the health-care industry. The AAPS is unique in that its members include physicians with either allopathic or osteopathic degrees.

For osteopathic physicians, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) , represents more than 70,000 osteopathic physicians around the world, and serves both DOs and osteopathic medical students. The group strives to emphasize osteopathic principles and the diversity of the field, and to support efforts of DOs to provide low-cost, quality health care, advance the practice of osteopathic medicine, and more.

Professional Medical Organizations

The list of medical associations also extends beyond medical specialties. For example, theAmerican Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), functions at the local, national, and international levels to help improve women’s health and further the role of women in medicine. The AMWA achieves its purpose through leadership, advocacy, education, and other means. Formed in 1915 in Chicago, the group has worked to address medical issues for 95 years.

At the academic level, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), can be an important resource. The AAMC serves as a representative of the 133 accredited medical schools in the United States and 17 in Canada, as well as of approximately 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, and around 90 academic and scientific societies. The organization encourages the improvement of medicine by supporting education, research, and patient-care activities conducted by its members.

To review a more extensive listing of professional organizations for specific medical specialties, as well as of organizations devoted to specific diseases and conditions, see the listing provided by MedlinePlus:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/organizations/all_organizations.html.

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