History of the Academy
The history of Tarrant County and its medical profession date back to the 1850s when our county was formed and the first physician came to Fort Worth. In 2003, the Tarrant County Medical Society (TCMS) celebrated its One-Hundredth Anniversary.
In a historical chronology of the Society, Dr. Margie Peschel, chairwomen of the Centennial Committee writes: “The society has a rich medical history, and it is impossible to separate the history of the Society, the history of the hospitals and the history of Tarrant County. Each has developed simultaneously and has exerted a profound influence on the other…Medicine can do, and has done, great good for the people of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.”
In 1903, when TCMS was formed, some 30 physicians from across the county were holding occasional meetings to discuss problems in community health and medicine. Office visits at that time cost one dollar and a house call from a physician traveling by horse and buggy was two dollars. Throughout the decades that followed, physicians volunteering through the TCMS addressed dozens of public health issues and helped shape the medical community we enjoy today.
Some of the issues that TCMS physicians have worked to address throughout the years include; keeping the city’s milk supply safe, the influenza epidemic in 1918, organizing charity care in Fort Worth during the depression, medical assistance to citizens during two World Wars and free polio vaccinations in the 1960’s. TCMS physicians have been an integral part of the fabric of Tarrant County.
In 1953, one year after the Fort Worth Academy of Medicine (now called the Tarrant County Academy of Medicine) was incorporated as a 501(c) (3) organization, the Amon G. Carter Foundation gave the building at 3855 Tulsa Way in Fort Worth to the Academy of Medicine. A large part of the building was leased to the Tarrant County Medical Society to be used as a center for educational programming and community meetings, as well as a place to display medical memorabilia and as a medical library. In 1953, the Tarrant County Medical Society membership totaled 400 physicians; today the membership exceeds 3,000 physicians. In 2009, the Tarrant County Academy of Medicine relocated to its new home at 555 Hemphill Street in Fort Worth.
The Fort Worth Academy of Medicine - TCMS's old home.
Purpose of the Academy
The Tarrant County Academy of Medicine was formed for the purpose of “improving the medical knowledge of matters relating to health and medicine among the lay public, and thereby improving the health and welfare of residents of Texas.” Today, the Academy serves as the patient’s and the community’s advocate by linking them to medicine.
The Academy provides meeting space for more than 30 meetings per month and hosts more than 7,200 attendees per year. Along with committees of the Medical Society, the volunteer Alliance, Senior Citizens Services, the Ethics Consortium, and the Emergency Physicians Advisory Board meet regularly. Additionally, the Tarrant County Medical Society responds to patient questions about physicians acting as patient advocate. Numerous medical education seminars sponsored by the Texas Medical Association and Tarrant County Medical Society are held at the Academy of Medicine.
The Tarrant County Medical Society serves as the physician’s advocate by linking medicine to the community. The Society supports safety in school athletics and organizes team physicians for local high school football teams. The Medical Society awards more than $30,000 each year in scholarships for students training in allied health fields. The Society administers recognition and awards to outstanding community contributors in health care and to physicians who work nationally and internationally to provide superior medical services. In 2011, TCMS will look to build on its commitment to our community by creating “Project Access Tarrant County” which will allow physicians to expand health care access to the uninsured and underserved of our area.