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

2021 Impact Report

2021 Impact Report cover

The Washington State Medical Association unites our members to make a difference. Whether that’s by improving the practice environment, improving physicians’ professional status, or enhancing the care physicians and their teams provide to patients and communities—it’s all in a day’s work.

Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. 

Physicians are central to achieving the best health care." –Dale Reisner, MD, WSMA Foundation 2019-20 board president

A robust 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 through our mission of advancing strong physician leadership and advocacy to shape the future of medicine and advance quality care for all Washingtonians. Working together, we are building a vibrant medical profession and a healthy population.

The WSMA is your WSMA. Here’s what we’ve done together in 2021.


Standing together yields results graphic

WSMA’s advocacy focuses on building a strong medical community and a healthy population. In 2021, with membership stronger than ever, our advocacy got results, including:

  • $443 million for foundational public health services through 2025.
  • $140 million for Medicaid rate increases for primary care, behavioral health, and pediatric services.
  • All physicians with patient-facing duties prioritized during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
  • Delaying burdensome IT mandates to enable physician and practice pandemic response.
  • Permanent coverage and reimbursement for audio- only telemedicine.
  • A PPE reimbursement policy for commercial insurance carriers.
  • COVID-19 liability protections for physicians and other health care professionals.
  • Additional representation of physicians to local public health boards.
  • Preventing tax increases on the physician community, dangerous scope of practice expansions, and a rate-setting mechanism and mandated participation in the state’s public option plan.

Quality Improvement

The WSMA advances initiatives that reflect our commitment to promoting quality care and healthy populations across Washington. Here’s what that looked like in 2021:

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest

Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest

Led the region on advance care planning conversations, facilitating nearly 26,000 conversations across 56 health care organizations and 48 community groups.

Better Prescribing, Better Treatment

Better Prescribing, Better Treatment

Promoted safe prescribing guidelines for patients on acute opioids, achieving a 20% reduction in overall acute prescriptions above guidelines and a 23% reduction in pediatric acute prescriptions above guidelines.

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients

Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients

Strengthened physician wellness and restored the joy of medicine by researching the effectiveness of wellness practice transformations. The interventions resulted in up to 16 less hours spent per month per physician on indirect patient care and administrative tasks.


The WSMA is training the next generation of physician leaders and helping practicing physicians develop the skills they need to thrive professionally. In 2021, our education efforts are reaching 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 14 trainings to 325 physician leaders and 56 other health care providers in the past year.
  • WSMA and 17 WSMA- accredited providers provided 897 CME activities—62% of all CME activities in Washington state. WSMA’s CompleteCME® program partnered with 13 non-accredited organizations to award CME credit for 41 activities.
  • Successfully advocated for health equity CME requirements to include all health care professionals.
  • Hired a health equity consultant to guide strategic planning and design and deliver health equity education to members and physician leaders.
  • Delivered 12 COVID-19 webinars and 14 continuing professional development webinars; resulting in 2,269 educational contact hours for physicians, PAs, and other health care team members.

Operational Excellence

The WSMA is a trusted, respected, and effective voice for physicians, their patients, and the communities they care for. That’s never been so true as it has been in 2021:

  • 53 news stories
    2 op-eds
    33 television interviews
    6 radio interviews and
    1 public service announcement spotlighting the WSMA and the physician voice.
  • 7 Excel Awards recognizing WSMA communications, including awards for WSMA’s flagship magazine, WSMA Reports, for design excellence, best cover illustration, best feature article, and best editorial/opinion piece; best pandemic microsite for; best special report for the 2020 Legislative Report; and best direct mail/single piece for the 2020 Impact Report.
  • Achieved 102% of 2020 year-end active- physician retention goal.
  • 825 new active physician members recruited.
  • Achieved 109% of year-end total member goal, bringing total membership to 11,992
Join or renew your membership today!