On March 20, 1849, a small group of physicians met in Macon. They formed what would become known as the Medical Society of the State of Georgia. They established a few key goals, which included the “advancement of medical knowledge, the elevation of professional character, the protection of the interests of its members, the extension of the bounds of medical science, the promotion of all measures adapted to relieve suffering humanity, protecting the lives [of the state’s residents], and improving the health of the community."
Victoria was the Queen of England, Zachary Taylor was the president of the United States, and the gold rush was underway in California – which wasn't even a state at the time. Georgia had a population of less than one million people, the state had more miles of railroads than any other, Milledgeville was the state capital, Savannah and Augusta were the state’s two largest cities, and Atlanta was a village called Terminus.
The organization has gone through several name changes over the years. In 1859, the Medical Society of the State of Georgia became known as the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG). In 1863, it was changed to the Georgia Medical Association. And in 1873, it was changed back to MAG.
MAG’s goals and programs have evolved to meet the needs and interests of its members, but the organization has remained true to its mission – which is to “Enhance patient care and the health of the public by advancing the art and science of medicine and by representing physicians and patients in the policy making process” – for more than 165 years.
MAG now has more than 8,000 members, which includes M.D.’s and D.O.’s in every specialty and practice setting. And MAG has a long-standing and well-earned reputation as the leading voice and advocate for physicians in Georgia.