History of the Polish American Medical Society

Polish-American Medical Society in Chicago was established in 1946, initially as the “Polish Medical Alliance”, and served as an association of Polish physicians that had newly-arrived in the US as post-WWII exiles. At the time, the main goal of the organization were to provide support in obtaining US licenses and to help find positions in the medical, dental and veterinary fields. The Polish American Medical Alliance was incorporated and registered in Illinois as a non-profit organization in 1951.

At its inception, the Alliance had 18 members, but by 1953 the number had increased to 63. Over the years the organization has grown in strength and has expanded its membership and goals. The longest-serving president (1955-1974) – an eminent physician, scientist, philanthropist, and Doctor Honoris Causa from the Warsaw Medical University – Dr. Alexander Rytel was especially instrumental in spearheading numerous actions supporting charitable and cultural initiatives benefiting Polonia as well as Poland. One such example includes his active role in raising the Copernicus monument in front of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

The Society has operated under its current name, The Polish-American Medical Society (PAMS) since 1993. It is composed of over 400 physicians of many different specialties. As a result of combined leadership and the work of a dedicated Board of Directors, the scope of PAMS activity has grown exponentially.

Since 1957, annual Physician’s Balls have been our main fundraising events, providing the income necessary to support PAMS’ educational funds and many other worthy causes.

Over the years numerous Polonia non-profit organizations have received our support. Examples are The Polish Museum of America, The Polish-American Association, The Amber Coalition, The Gift from the Heart Foundation, The Kosciuszko Foundation, Polish Jesuits, ZHP and a variety of local Polish art and music groups. Let’s accomplish even more together!

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