About ISMS

The Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) is the only organization in the State of Illinois in which physicians of all specialties and geographies can BE HEARD.

Founded in 1840, ISMS is a non-profit, membership organization of physicians, medical graduates completing residency and fellowship programs, and medical school students. For more than 180 years, ISMS has been the trusted advocate for physicians by allowing their voices to BE HEARD in the State of Illinois.


The mission of the Illinois State Medical Society is to educate, advocate for, and support the health and wellbeing of the people of Illinois and the physicians who care for them. ISMS unites all Illinois physicians, regardless of specialty and practice environment, to improve the practice of medicine in Illinois.

Who We Are

The Illinois State Medical Society represents the interests of member physicians, advocates for patients and promotes the patient/doctor relationship, the ethical practice of medicine, and the betterment of the public health. This is achieved by allowing equal opportunity for all ISMS members and ensuring all members’ voices are able to BE HEARD. ISMS centers our work around:





Statement on Community Involvement

At the highest level, ISMS supports, advocates for, and protects physicians and all they do to provide care in the community. We also work to promote the physician-patient relationship, educate the public on a wide variety of healthcare issues, and otherwise improve the health of the people of Illinois; we do this through legislative and regulatory advocacy, media campaigns and public service announcements, and other means.

ISMS also takes direct action through our staff to improve the communities where we live and work. The company encourages and supports employees involved in health-related community charity efforts (e.g. a run/walk to raise funds for cancer research). ISMS also sponsors and coordinates employee volunteer opportunities such as preparing boxes for a local food pantry.


In June 1840, 12 Illinois physicians and surgeons assembled in Springfield to discuss their concerns and possible solutions regarding the ethical, scientific, legislative and economic problems plaguing physicians. From this embryonic beginning, ISMS has grown into the leading advocate of Illinois physicians and patients.

Members of the ISMS share a mission of commitment to their profession and service to the citizens of Illinois that extends across rural, suburban and urban areas of the state. From solo practitioners to academicians to large, multi-specialty groups, ISMS is the ONLY state society representing every specialty and type of medical practice in Illinois.

ISMS takes pride in having a long history of being a member-led organization. Learn more about this rich history, specifically past ISMS presidents.

Code of Ethics

The Illinois State Medical Society believes in the following Code of Ethics:

WHEREAS, The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient; and

WHEREAS, As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility not only to patients, but also to society, to other health professionals and to self; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the following Code of Ethics be adopted by the Illinois State Medical Society not as laws, but standards of conduct that define the essentials of honorable behavior for the physician:

  1. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical service with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
  2. A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or those who engage in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.
  3. A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements that are contrary to the best interest of the patient.
  4. A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy, within the constraints of the law.
  5. A physician shall continue to study, apply and advance scientific knowledge; maintain commitment to medical education; make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public; obtain consultation; and use the talents of other health professionals when indicated.
  6. A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical service.
  7. A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to an improved community and the betterment of public health.
  8. A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.
  9. A physician shall support access to medical care for all people.

"Ethical standards are the foundation of a profession. As one profession or House of Medicine, the ISMS and AMA have identical ethical standards."

Adopted by the House of Delegates of the Illinois State Medical Society

November 1981, Revised 2002

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