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About the ISMA
History of the Indiana State Medical Association
The Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) held its first meeting in Indianapolis in 1849. Naming Livingston Dunlap, the third physician to arrive in Indiana, as their president, the 28 participants agreed on their mission: to educate physicians about science and clinical developments in medicine.

The fledgling physician organization first appointed delegates from around the state in 1861 and continued to meet all through the Civil War when many state medical societies and even the AMA suspended meetings.

In the 1870s, the AMA elected its first president from Indiana, Theophilus Parvin, and the AMA cited the ISMA for its "advanced state of organization." By 1883, membership was more than 5,000.

Early in the 20th century, the ISMA began to publish a medical journal. In the 1920s, the Women's Auxiliary was formed, which later became the ISMA Alliance. In the ensuing decades, committees studied medical education in Indiana, nonprofit health insurance, the scourge of polio and socialized medicine.

Recent decades brought changes that reflected the times. In 1987, the ISMA elected its first female president, Shirley Khalouf, MD, and its first African-American president, George Rawls, MD, in 1990.

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