Just how old is the Washington State Medical Association? Well, that
depends on when you start counting. Worn and weathered pages in the WSMA
archives note that the first formal meeting of the
Medical Society of Washington Territory took place in
Olympia on Feb. 19, 1873, with five members.
But as the Wild West and its frontier towns grew, it was time for the
territory to become the nation’s 42nd state. In response, society members
moved that the Territorial Society would adjourn sine die on Oct. 24,
1889, at the Tacoma Hotel.
They reassembled as the
Medical Society of the State of Washington, with 46
charter members. The name we’re known by today—the
Washington State Medical Association—was approved by the
board in 1894. Today, at more than 12,000 members strong, no matter how
you count it or what you call it, we’ve come a long way.