Mission and History

CMSS Mission

CMSS will be indispensable to specialty societies and the medical profession by:

  • Supporting and strengthening member societies to address future challenges
  • Catalyzing improvement through convening, collaboration, collective voice and action across specialties
  • Providing a proactive platform to assess and address emerging and critical issues across specialty societies that influence the future of healthcare and the patients we serve


CMSS has three top priorities:

  • Education: specialty society education; physician competency and accountability; new learning models
  • Quality: standards and value assessment; innovative care delivery models; equity and disparities
  • Professional Identity: professionalism; autonomy; teamwork and workforce; leadership development, including diversity and inclusion

CMSS History

Founded in 1965 as the Tri-College Council, CMSS was created to provide an independent forum for the discussion by medical specialists of issues of national interest and mutual concern. Founding members were the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Surgeons. In 1967, as other specialty societies joined, CMSS adopted its current name.

CMSS is unique; its membership has been historically limited to those U.S. medical specialty societies that represent diplomates certified by a Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). In early 2005, the CMSS Council voted to expand their membership slowly by offering full membership to a limited number of sub-specialties and associate membership to a small number of organizations with which CMSS interacts. Today, membership is open to candidates who meet stated criteria and are likely to engage and participate in CMSS mission and priorities, including support for education, quality, science, and scholarship.

The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) is a coalition of 48 specialty societies representing more than 800,000 physicians across the house of medicine. CMSS works to catalyze improvement across specialties through convening, collaborating, and collective action.