More than 20 years ago, the physicians of Fort Bend County perceived that the practice of medicine in their county was evolving from a rural to a more "urban" model of care. So, Fort Bend County Medical Society was formed as a spin-off from the Four County Medical Society (Wharton, Jackson, Matagorda and Fort Bend). In 1986, the hub of the Societies' activities was centered around Polly Ryon Memorial Hospital in Richmond. There was no hospital in Sugar Land; Sugar Land Hospital ran by Imperial Sugar had closed; the next closest hospital was Southwest Memorial in Harris County. (Fort Bend Community Hospital in Sugar Land was added in the late 80's.)
With the arrival of the new millennium, the Society was still somewhat dormant. A meeting would be held rarely, membership was limited to less than 50 professionals and most physicians living in Fort Bend County chose to join the Harris County Medical Society. However, 2009 ushered in a new era for physicians that worked/resided in Fort Bend County, Texas. A new group of physicians were committed to energizing the Society under the leadership of radiologist L.E. Richey. Various key individuals needed to form the working infrastructure for the Society were identified; Rajesh Bindal, a neurosurgeon at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, agreed to serve as President Elect; Paul Loubser, an anesthesiologist at Sugar Land Surgery Center, served as Secretary Treasurer. Other members assigned to key positions included Benjamin Oei, Peter Chang, Art Klawitter and Charles Phan. Their new office was located in Stafford. The Executive Board started meeting on a monthly basis, and set to work on revising the Bylaws and develop activities for members. Other valuable contributions were provided by past Presidents Amitabh Shukla, Parin Shah and Ali Mahmood who each worked diligently to build the Society.
Important developments in our history since 2010 include:
- A shorter name - the name of the society changed to Fort Bend Medical Society (FBMS). The shorter name is thought to be more catching, while the term "County" seems redundant.
- The Society commenced a robust program of quarterly networking meetings & CME events (in conjunction with the TMA), rotating among our major medical campuses.
- A Newsletter, the Brazos Heathstream, commenced publication. News items featured on membership and local events and is distributed to 1300 physicians in the County. A “spotlight” section in each edition focused on one of our hospitals.
- Known as one of the key services provided by Harris County Medical Society, in 2012, the Society published its first customized physician pictorial roster for its members. In 2016, this physician directory was made available via the website, which has proven to be more efficient and cost-effective.
- Membership doubled in 2009 - a major achievement, and then has steadily increased toward the 200 mark in 2016.
- An annual celebration to honor and bring together the medical community commenced in 2012 through 2015. Known as the Society Gala, this event was held each year in November.
- In 2013, the Society commenced a Scholarship program for high school seniors who are interested in a medical career. The first (2014) and second (2015) recipient received $1,000 scholarships and our recipient this year (2016) was awarded a $2,000 scholarship. This program will continue to grow.
- In 2014, a Pilot Dual County Membership program commenced that allowed physicians to join both the Harris County and Fort Bend Medical Societies, the first in the State of Texas.
- In 2014, the Society formed an Honorary Advisory Board, consisting of the leaders of local hospitals, Chambers of Commerce and our educational institutions. The purpose is to increase our community presence and involvement.
- The Society has most recently reached out to establish partnerships with the Fort Bend Medical Society Alliance and the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce.
Our future is bright. Fort Bend County continues to grow and the quality of medical services provided by our medical institutions is now on a par with the Texas Medical Center. Physicians are continuing to seek out practice opportunities in the County, and new Surgery Centers, emergency facilities, and specialty clinics continue to spring up each month. A vibrant medical community such as ours needs strong medical society that is part of the Texas Medical Association.
FBMS wishes to proactively engage members of the public and keep residents of Fort Bend County satisfied with their health care services. FBMS wants to the best services to its consumers and member physicians. However, the society can only be effective if our members support each other and step up to take on leadership roles.