The Medical Society of the County of Erie was founded on September 1, 1821 by the first physician in Erie County, Cyrenius Chapin. The Society began as a means of fulfilling a requirement of New York State law, since all physicians within the State were required to belong to a local medical society at that time. Through the years, the Medical Society of Erie County has been marked by innovative physician leaders who paved the way for the development of Buffalo. Notably, as of 1903, Buffalo had the lowest death rate of any city of its size in the world based on the impact of Buffalo’s Health Commissioner during the typhoid pandemic, Ernest Wende, MD. Furthermore, leaders of the Medical Society of Erie County founded the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and played a critical role in the development and advancement of Buffalo’s regional hospitals both yesterday and today. As we confront today’s global pandemic, we are pleased to note that Erie County’s current Health Commissioner, Gale Burstein, MD, MPH is also a distinguished member of the Medical Society of Erie County.
We want to give special thanks to Stacey Watt, MD, who made the remarkable contribution of drafting all ten introductory chapters of this book and the current Executive Director of the Medical Society of Erie County, Aimana ElBahtity, Esq., who drafted the book’s image narratives and back cover. We want to also give special thanks to the 200th President of the Medical Society of Erie County, Robert S. Armstrong, MD, who drafted the foreword of this book. The primary source of photographs being used came from the Medical Society of the County of Erie’s archives.