Wake County Medical Society

Wake County Medical Society

Wake County Medical Society logo 2023Welcome to WCMS!

Wake County Medical Society is an organization established in order to enable physicians and other friends of the profession to support projects vitally affecting scientific medicine and public health.

The North Carolina Medical Society provides administrative support for the Wake County Medical Society; should you have any membership questions, please email wakemedsoc@ncmedsoc.org or telephone (800) 722-1350 or (919) 833-3836 and ask for the Member Services department.

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Dr. Ted Kunstling

Note from the President

Dear Colleagues,

As autumn leaves take on their colors, the future of the Wake County Medical Society looks brighter as well.

Three years ago, our country was in the depths of a pandemic, clinical workloads were heavy, social isolation was stifling, recession threatened, and an election crisis threatened our democracy. WCMS was unable to meet in person due to COVID precautions and lacked a leadership succession plan. Participation flagged. Our long-time executive director, Paul Harrison, with his health failing, retired, depriving us of experienced leadership.  WCMS was not unique; many other long-standing organizations struggled as well, including the Raleigh Academy of Medicine, which recently voted on October 19, 2023, to disband.

Today’s Wake County medical community is much different than it was when I joined Raleigh Internal Medicine Associates in 1975 as the first pulmonologist in Raleigh and became a member of the WCMS. The number and diversity of doctors in Wake County has grown enormously, and we have become widely disbursed throughout the county. Recently, many newly arriving doctors are employed by large entities in networks. Most hospital-based practitioners no longer encounter their office-based colleagues in hospital corridors, and we have become isolated from one another. Many new physicians are married to other professionals, and medical families are challenged with new demands on their limited time, made even more burdensome by electronic medical records. It is no surprise that doctors seem less engaged in their community.

Nevertheless, WCMS still retained significant membership, financial resources, and a nucleus of dedicated seasoned physician leaders on our Executive Council willing to carry on. There was hope, but it is evident that WCMS must adjust to a new world. Other local medical societies across North Carolina face similar issues.

Your Executive Council has worked diligently to rebuild our society, enabling it to continue to support our local medical community and our patients. We contracted with the North Carolina Medical Society to provide administrative support even as we remain an entity distinct from the NCMS. We revised our mission to focus on maintaining and building collegiality amongst our members and to combat isolation. WCMS cannot solve all of the challenges facing medicine but can help maintain personal and professional connections that are vitally important. We have every reason to be proud of our ancient profession. We have just elected a strong new team of leaders and extensively revised our bylaws to support continuity and enable us to meet the challenges ahead more efficiently. Our website www.wakedocs.org  has been upgraded. In 2024 we shall offer more varied programs to bring our members and their families together and attract new members.  Much remains to be done. You have a part to play in our future. All of our medical community are welcome, whether you are employed, an independent practitioner, retired, or a medical trainee to be a part of Wake County Medical Society.

Please join us at historic Haywood Hall on November 19 as we greet our third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, and on December 4 as we celebrate the 120th anniversary of WCMS in the Governors’ Mansion and install 2024-2025 leaders. Watch for news of our 2024 activities.

It has been my privilege and honor to serve as your president for the past three years. The support of our dedicated Executive Council, Drs. John Perry, Vinay Saranga, Sharon Foster, David Gremillion, and Robert Munt and staff of the NCMS, Shawn Scott, Frank Snyder, and Toni Hill has been essential for shepherding our society through these times. Thank them and thank you for your support!

I wish you all, your families, and your staffs a merry holiday season and happy new year. Remember to “Keep calm and carry on.”

Ted Kunstling MD, FCCP
President, Wake County Medical Society
October 27, 2023