Who We Are

The Detroit Medical Academy was created in 2005 with the merger of the Detroit Academy of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Club.  The parent groups were venerable Detroit institutions dating back to the 19th and early 20th century, with a history of membership including many of the people who shaped and defined medicine in southeastern Michigan.


In 1869 a group of physicians from the Detroit Medical College, envisioning an organization to promote closer professional and social relationships among the medical community, created the Detroit Academy of Medicine.  In 1906, another group of physicians, seeking to promote fellowship and exchange medical ideas, created the Detroit Medical Club.  Starting in the 1930’s both organizations held joint annual meetings.


In 2005, the groups merged to create the Detroit Medical Academy.  The traditions of both groups were carefully incorporated, to retain their rich historical backgrounds.   The purpose of the Detroit Medical Academy is to promote both the fine arts and the knowledge of medicine, while cultivating harmony and fellowship among its members.  Medical professionals, health care leaders and educators from academic, teaching and community hospitals, as well as from the private sector, come together eight times per year for an evening of fellowship, fine dining, education and entertainment. 

Detroit Medical Academy 
Promoting knowledge of the art and science of medicine       
& fellowship among metro Detroit physicians since 1869      

The Detroit Academy of Medicine . . . the early years

The Detroit Academy of medicine was organized September 21st, 1869.

Its object was the development of closer professional and social relationships among portions of the Detroit profession.

In accord with well known sociological principles, this object necessitated a limitation of membership, so that meetings could be held at residences of the members, that all present could discuss every question presented, if they desired; that each could have a chance to read one or more papers yearly, and all be trained to think and speak on their feet.

The promotion of social fellowship between all members compelled a limitation of membership.

Doubtless the organization of the Detroit Medical College in 1868 was the underlying stimulus of this effort to secure such intellectual, social and professional training from this bank of professional workers.  The teachers in this college were practically all new men in the work; some felt the need of outside aid to render their work most successful.  Those were most active in promoting the Academy.

This relationship continued till 1881, when changes in the College threw the Academy on its own resources.  Active members in it were leading spirits in the founding and conduct of the Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery and the Michigan College of Medicine, as well as the Detroit Medical College.  In the conduct of other medical societies, hospitals, elevation of standards of medical qualification for practice, in the struggle for the betterment of the profession in Michigan and the United States, men trained in the Detroit Academy of Medicine have taken an important part, as published record abundantly prove.

Amid all mutations of thirty-six years the conduct of the Detroit Academy of Medicine has been undisturbed by unseemly deportment.  Very generally it has been regarded as the personification of good fellowship, the friend of such as honestly desired to learn the best methods of securing a wide and helpful acquaintance among the best elements of the profession.

by Leartus Connor


Dr. Connor has well described the spirit of the Academy.  At the time of its organization and until 1876 it was the only society to exert an influence upon the medical profession of Detroit.  The difficulties in 1881 and thereafter, of which he writes, were, we believe, the struggle of the society to keep alive at a time when the need of an all-inclusive medical organization was felt and put into being.  From this need emerged the Wayne county Medical Society as we know it today.  During this time a group of men, firm in their belief that a small society of congenial men desiring social as well as professional association was as essential as an all-inclusive one, kept the academy alive.  This group included Drs. Leartus Connor, H.R. Cleland, A.B. Lyons, W.R. Chittick, W.P. Manton, W. J. Wilson, Sr., J.E. Emerson and a few others.  When the turmoil had quieted, many temporary deserters returned to the society; new member joined and the character of the society as we know it today was established.

Following the European War, it became evident to the Academy that because of the rapidly expanding medical life of the city and enlargement of membership and a more flexible method of administration would be advisable.  After many careful deliberations the number of Active Fellows was increased from forty to fifty in 1929, and the By-Laws were revisited in 1933, and one change was made in the Constitution.  We feel assured that the character and ideals of the Detroit Academy of Medicine will continue in the future as they have in the past.


The interval of approximately 20 years since the last revision of the Constitution and By-Laws has seen many changes in the community to which the Academy, like many similar organization, has had to conform.  These changes have not been fundamental but in keeping with the mental and psychic, as well as constructive changes that have taken place, not only in our immediate surroundings, but in the world as a whole.  A second World War has been lived through in this period, in which many members of the Academy took an active part; this group therefore represents an honorable segment of the local Veterans of this war.

To enumerate some of the changes referred to, it may be mentioned that over the past years two meetings a month were held, but with the increased medical activities and responsibilities, as well as institutional obligations, it was deemed necessary to restrict the schedule to one monthly meeting.  A further construction development was initiated in the form of an annual dinner meeting the the Detroit Medical Club, which was founded on or about 1986 with similar social and scientific interests, the two societies alternating as host each year.

The membership of the Academy is accurately recorded in the roster which was the thought and work of the late Walter J. Cree, the Academy historian.  Each fellow is required to sign this roster before his membership is considered completed.  Another change, perhaps unimportant, in the social aspects of the Academy was subsequent to World War II, since which time the cost of the annual dinner is shared proportionately as an assessment against the fellows instead of being borne by the retiring president, as was previously the custom.