Rhode Island Medical Society


About RIMS


RIMS Building


The Library Building at 106 Francis Street in Providence was RIMS' headquarters from 1912–2002.

Mission Statement

Rhode Island Medical Society is a voluntary association of physicians, physician assistants and medical students. It supports and advocates for all Rhode Island physicians in their efforts to provide the best possible care to their patients. The Society is the vehicle by which the medical community in Rhode Island meets the evolving challenges of medical practice and quality patient care. The Society represents the interests, values and needs of the medical profession and promotes enlightened public policy in the field of health care.


Founded in 1812, the Rhode Island Medical Society is the eighth oldest organization of its kind in the nation.

The History of the Rhode Island Medical Society and its Component Societies, by various authors, was published in 1966 subsequent to RIMS' sesquicentennial in 1962. A new account of RIMS' history is under the pen of Newell Warde, PhD, the current executive director, to commemorate the bicentennial in 2012.

Original By-Laws and Rules
Printed in 1812, "The Act of Incorporation together with the By-Laws and Rules of the Rhode Island Medical Society", pictured at right, also includes the names of the first officers elected in September 1812 and the complete list of Fellows that year.
[High resolution PDF, 19mb file.]

Dr. Amos Throop (1736–1814), RIMS' first president

Directory of RIMS Presidents 1812–present

Bicentennial Observances 2011–2012

Past Observances
The 1862 Semi-centennial, 1912 Centennial, and 1962 Sesquicentennial anniversary events.

Milestones and Movers
A historical overview of the events and physicians that shaped the RI Medical Society and the practice of medicine in Rhode Island.

History of the RIMS Library
The development, management, and housing of RIMS' impressive medical library.


For more than 160 years, the RI Medical Society maintained a library, which grew to about 50,000 volumes by 1980. RIMS' former headquarters building at 106 Francis Street was built in 1911–1912 as a library to house the collection, which resided in the Providence Public Library from 1900 to 1911 and at other locations before that. The collection included medical books and periodicals from the 16th through the 20th centuries. The oldest book in the collection was a 1501 edition of a work by Pliny.

De Corporus Humani Structura et Usa, 1583

In 1987, RIMS made a gift of its collection to Brown University. The most significant historical portions of the collection are now housed together at the John Hay Library of Brown University.

Other volumes were interdigitated with the collection in the Sciences Library of Brown University.

In return for the gift, all members and employees of the RI Medical Society have full borrowing privileges for the entire Brown library system in perpetuity. 

RIMS Building (1912–2002)

The Rhode Island Medical Society Library Building at 106 Francis Street in Providence was constructed as a medical library and conference center in 1911–1912. It served as the RIMS' headquarters of the for 90 years, from 1912 to 2002. The historic, Federal-revival building today is the corporate headquarters of Moran Shipping Agencies, Inc., a family-owned Rhode Island company whose sensitive and ambitious 2008 renovation succeeds in highlighting the building's medical heritage while demonstrating the compatibility of historic preservation with green technology. RIMS' former headquarters, now LEEDS certified, is the first geothermally heated and cooled corporate building in Providence.

RIMS Seal over the door at 106 Francis Street.

A Brief History of the RI Medical Society Library Building, 1909–1912

An architectural rendering of the RIMS Library Buliding, circa 1909.


In 2006, RIMS’ venerable seal was updated in conjunction with a new identity program that will carry the Society into its next century. The allegorical figure of Asclepius’ daughter Hygeia, goddess of health and cleanliness, has been the Medical Society’s symbol since 1812. As part of the update, the seal was redrawn to authentically restore its classical imagery. The new design (below right) was inspired by previous renderings of the seal, like the antique embossed version (below left) and other historical references. Rhode Island's Independent Man now appears in the base of the pedestal.

hygeia emblems

Updated 4/19/12

Promenade Street Providence RI