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Protecting the house of medicine is the Washington State Medical Association's specialty. And we get results.

2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report Cover

With the support of nearly 13,000 physicians and physician assistants in Washington state, the WSMA provides a voice for the physician community and speaks with the power of many. Our members gain strength in this unity, steadfast in our vision to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and to receive care.

At the WSMA, physicians are our specialty.

Everything we do at the WSMA drives toward supporting and advocating for you.” – Katina Rue, DO, 2022-2023 WSMA President

A robust, diverse, and healthy professional and practice environment is necessary to ensure that patients and communities have access to high-quality care when they need it. We achieve this by advocating on issues of importance to our profession and our patients, providing resources to make our jobs easier, creating space for us to network and develop our professional skills, and enhancing the care we provide—including addressing cultural and clinical issues that historically have led to structural inequity.

It’s simple. Our mission is to advance strong physician leadership and advocacy to shape the future of medicine and advance quality care for all Washingtonians.

We are moving forward, together, and building a vibrant, stronger, medical profession and a healthy population.

The WSMA is your WSMA. See for yourself.


The WSMA defends and supports you, your patients, and the profession in the Legislature, with state agencies, health plans, in the courts, and beyond. In 2023, our advocacy got considerable results, including:

  • Passing prior authorization legislation mandating carriers expedite turnaround times and implement electronic processes that integrate into the EHR for health care services and prescription drugs.
  • Ensuring access to abortion and gender-affirming care services by establishing criminal and civil liability protections, medical license safeguards, and more.
  • Securing a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and a mandated 10-day waiting period and safety training for all firearm purchases.
  • Increasing funding for the Family Medicine Residency Program and psychiatric residencies.
  • Defeating numerous scope-of-practice proposals that would have jeopardized patient safety.
  • Coordinating with state agencies and helping physicians and PAs navigate unwinding of state and federal COVID-19 flexibilities.
  • Advocating for Medicare sustainability, telemedicine flexibilities, removing barriers to medications for opioid use disorder, and prior authorization reform at the federal level.

Quality Improvement

The WSMA and the WSMA Foundation advance initiatives that reflect our commitment to promoting quality improvements and healthy populations across Washington. Here’s what that looked like in 2023:

Better Prescribing, Better Treatment

Better Prescribing, Better Treatment

promoted safe prescribing guidelines for patients on acute opioids, achieving a 22% reduction in overall acute prescriptions above guidelines and a 17% reduction in pediatric acute prescriptions above guidelines. The program incorporated members of the nurses and dental associations to bring another 3,000 prescribers on board, bringing the total number of prescribers participating in the safe-prescribing initiative to 16,600.

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients

worked toward strengthening physician wellness and restoring the joy of medicine by launching a Physicians Foundation grant-funded initiative to explore systemic changes to help reduce burnout and improve physician and physician assistant well-being at work. The goals of the initiative will be to identify organizational and leadership best practices to reduce burnout and improve wellness, and provide professional development on improving emotional intelligence, recognizing burnout in peers, and providing peer support.

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest

Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest

led the region in advance care planning conversations, facilitating more than 30,000 advance care planning conversations across 56 health care organizations and 48 community groups. The initiative distributed over 31,000 professionally printed Honoring Choices PNW advance directives to WSMA members. Through good stewardship of philanthropic donations, what was originally budgeted to last seven years has lasted nine years, with 2023 marking the ninth year of Honoring Choices PNW. As we transition to a new phase in the initiative in 2024, the WSMA and the WSMA Foundation remain steadfast in our support of facilitating advance care planning and improving end-of-life care.


The WSMA is training the next generation of physician leaders, helping physicians develop the skills they need to thrive professionally, and delivering health equity education to members and physician leaders across Washington. In 2023, our education efforts reached more physicians than ever:

  • WSMA’s Center for Leadership Development, winner of a 2021 American Association of Medical Society Executives Profiles of Excellence Award, delivered 13 courses to 250 physician leaders and 49 health care professionals in the past year.
  • The WSMA and 22 WSMA-accredited providers in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska provided 826 CME activities. In Washington state, the WSMA and 18 WSMA-accredited providers provided 556 CME activities——87% of all CME activities in the state. WSMA’s CompleteCME ® program partnered with local and national non-accredited organizations to award CME credit for 47 activities.
  • Held bimonthly Health Equity M&M webinars to provide a framework for recognizing and examining our biases and identifying the ways systemic racism exists in our organizations.
  • Held a Health Equity Leadership Development and Action Collective to provide education, guidance, and support to make lasting, equitable change in our organizations.
  • Hosted a two-day webinar for over 500 learners to meet the federal MATE Act’s eight-hour CME requirement for DEA-registered prescribers.

Operational Excellence

The WSMA is a trusted, respected, and effective voice for physicians, our patients, and the communities we care for, regardless of practice setting, specialty, or career choice. In 2023, the WSMA:

  • Appeared in more than 32 news stories, six television spots, 40 radio segments, and one newspaper op-ed.
  • Successfully leveraged the physician voice and physician community priorities across social media channels, with engagement rates across platforms well above the industry standard for nonprofits.
  • Won three EXCEL Awards recognizing WSMA communications, including the 2022 Impact Report, 2022 Legislative Report, and, for WSMA Reports, best editorial/opinion.
  • Surpassed 2023 total member goal of 12,500 members by 266.
  • 6,452 active physicians retained.
  • Exceeded new active physician goal by 55%.
Join or renew your membership today!