The ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF CLEVELAND (as of 2005, the Academy of Medicine Cleveland and the Northern Ohio Medical Association, or AMCNO) is the region's professional medical association. The AMCNO is the oldest professional organization in Ohio, originally formed as the Nineteenth District of Ohio by Dr. David Long in 1824. The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland established itself officially on May 28, 1902 (incorporated in 1924) through a merger of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY and the CLEVELAND MEDICAL SOCIETY. In its origins, the academy held meetings on experimental medicine and chemical pathology for members and professional physicians.
From its founding, the Academy of Medicine was closely allied with the CLEVELAND MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSN., which provided a temporary home for meetings. The academy held general meetings in the Chamber of Commerce Building until 1906, when it moved to the CMLA's building at 2318 Prospect Avenue. The academy later followed the CMLA to Allen Memorial Library on the Western Reserve University campus. In 1960 the academy relocated to Carnegie Avenue, where it remained until 1979 when it moved to Cedar Avenue. Today it is located in Independence.
The Academy's first meeting in 1824 had 5 physicians, and attendance reached over 600 by 1912. In 1919 the academy became the first in the country to employ a professional administrator, which boosted membership to more than 700 within two years, and to more than 1,000 by 1926. Today, there are over 6,000 members spanning from first year medical students to retired physicians who represent nearly every specialty of medicine.
Throughout its 100-year history, the organization was consistently been involved in community health issues and has promoted modern techniques. In 1917, the Academy pushed for the City Ordinance on Pasteurization of Milk following the publishing of their study that linked the lack of pasteurization to infant mortality. The Academy opened the first health museum in the country, the Cleveland Health Museum, in 1936 and set up one of the world's first poison control centers, the GREATER CLEVELAND POISON CONTROL CENTER in 1957.
The Academy’s physicians played an important role in addressing dangerous pandemics and orchestrating immunization campaigns throughout their history, including against smallpox in the 1920s, diphtheria in the 1930s, polio in the 1950s, rubella in the 1970s, and COVID-19 in 2020. The Academy’s Sabin Oral Sundays polio vaccination campaign led Cuyahoga County to have the highest vaccination completion rate in the United States with the successful vaccination of 1.5 million residents.
The AMCNO has also spread medical information through media since its first PUBLIC HEALTH lectures in the 1930s. In 1953, the Academy began a television series called “Prescription for Living” featuring actors from CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE, and in 1958, they presented a radio show, “The Doctor Speaks,” later called “Healthlines,” which was sponsored by BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD MUTUAL OF N OH. Academy Past President Dr. Ted Castele also joined the WEWS news team in 1975 in a segment called “Our Own TV Doctor.” Today, the AMCNO uses social media and its website www.amcno.org to share medical knowledge with the public. The AMCNO also publishes a quarterly newsletter entitled the Northern Ohio Physician which has been in publication since 1903 and was known under previous names as the Cleveland Medical Journal, the Academy Bulletin, and the Cleveland Physician.
The AMCNO has been a leading force in medical advocacy at the state and local levels since its inception. Today, it works with its members to streamline the medical education process, remove administrative barriers to medical practice, and protect the physician-patient relationship.