From Medscape, www.medscape.com:
There was a time, more than half a century ago, when organized medicine played a key role in physicians' lives and held enormous sway over US healthcare policy-making.
Three quarters of physicians were simultaneously members of their county and state medical societies and the American Medical Association (AMA).They spent many hours of their free time in these three groups, dealing with clinical learning, running for elected offices, holding forums, and hammering out positions on all kinds of issues.
For most physicians, that era is long gone. Now, a much smaller percentage of doctors belong to the AMA or county societies, and they're more likely to join specialty societies than any other organization.
Specialty societies enjoy very high membership rates and don't seem to have a problem staying relevant to doctors. However, each specialty society has developed its own particular position on healthcare issues, replacing the once unified voice of the House of Medicine with a chorus of sometimes conflicting views.
Meanwhile, doctors seem to be following the growing trend among all Americans of moving away from groups. The 2000 book Bowling Alone, by Robert D. Putnam, demonstrated this trend by showing that even as the number of bowlers continued to rise, the number of people in bowling leagues had markedly fallen.
Click here to read more including CHCMS CEO Rae Young Bond's take on the future of organized medicine.