Boston Surgical Society By-Laws

Adopted: November 25, 1914

Amended: January 1916, February 1923, December 1927, December 1936, December 1938, February 1944, April 1946, February 1947, December 1954, December 1956, December 1957, December 1958, December 1959, December 1963, December 1974, December 1976, December 1981, December 1993, January 2005; December, 2017

Article I: Name & Purpose
Section 1.

The name of the Society shall be “The Boston Surgical Society”.

Section 2.

The purpose shall be:

  1. to furnish leadership and foster advances in surgery;
  2. to afford a forum for the exchange of knowledge pertaining to practice of the above;
  3. to stimulate research, investigation, and teaching in surgery;
  4. to enhance the study and practice of surgery; and
  5. to afford recognition to those who have contributed to the surgical specialty by extending membership in the Society to them.


  1. The officers of the Society shall be a president, a president-elect, a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer and a dinner chairperson. Only active members of the Society are eligible to become officers.
  2. The officers shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Society in December, and shall hold office for one year from the first day of the following January. The president shall not be eligible for immediate reelection.
  3. In case of a vacancy, an officer shall be elected for the unexpired term, except that the vice-president shall take the place of the president, and a new vice-president shall be elected for the balance of the unexpired vice presidential term. Each vacancy shall be announced at the next meeting of the Society after its occurrence and the election to fill the same shall be held at the next following meeting, the notice of which shall announce that the election is to take place.
  4. The general conduct of the Society’s affairs shall be in the hands of an executive Council with the power of directors. The Council will be composed of the president, the president-elect, the vice-president, the secretary, the treasurer, the dinner chairman, the outgoing president (who shall serve for three years after his/her presidency), and five other at-large members. One of the five at-large members will be elected at the annual meeting of the Society in December and shall hold office for five years from the first of the following January. The Council may make its own rules as to holding its meetings and giving notice thereof.
  5. In case of a vacancy among the five at-large members of the Council, whether caused by an election to an office named in Section 1 of this Article or otherwise, the position shall be filled at the next stated meeting of the Society. Notice of the vacancy and nominees for it shall be announced to the membership either in writing or electronically prior to the next meeting.
  6. Candidates for officers of the Society and for at-large members of the Executive Council will be proposed each year by a nominating committee, for approval at the Annual Meeting in December. The nominating committee shall be composed of the three past-presidents, with the most senior past president serving as the Chair of the committee.
Article II: Membership
  1. There shall be four classes of membership: active, nonresident, senior, and honorary.
  2. Active Members – An active member must fulfill the following requirements:
    1. S/he must have been certified by the American Board of Surgery or by the American specialty board in her/his surgical subspecialty.
    2. S/he must have an unqualified professional record and must relate her/his practice and/or academic activities to Massachusetts and the surrounding states.  Unless retired from active practice, s/he must possess an unrestricted license to practice medicine in her/his state of residence.
    3. A member who loses her/his license to practice medicine through the disciplinary action of a state medical board will be removed from the membership list.
      At its discretion, the Executive Council may propose for membership any candidate who does not fulfill these qualifications if they do so by unanimous vote of those present at a meeting of the Council.  These candidates may include potential members who are in active practice but who are ineligible for certification by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties because of training outside of the United States or Canada.
  3. Nonresident Members – An active member who moves her/his practice to a place so far from Boston that s/he cannot be expected to participate regularly in the affairs of the Society shall be offered the privilege, in writing, of becoming a nonresident member or of resigning from the Society. Nonresident members do not pay dues, are not eligible for office, and may not vote, but may take part in the work and meetings of the Society.
  4. Senior Members – An active member will automatically become a senior member upon reaching the age of sixty-five, or earlier under special circumstances. Senior members shall not pay dues, although they are encouraged to do so. Dues payment will continue to confer active membership status irrespective of age, permitting the member to serve as an officer. As noted above, senior members without Active status shall not be eligible for office, but may vote and take part in the scientific work of the Society.
  5. Honorary Members – Any distinguished surgeon approved by the Executive Council may be elected an honorary member by a unanimous vote at any meeting of the Society.
  6. New applicants – Applicants for membership must meet the criteria specified in #1 above. Prior to November 1 of each year, applications for membership must be in the hands of the secretary. Before October 25, the secretary shall notify active and senior members of the names of applicants for membership. Members who have comments on a candidate should return them to the secretary before November 7th. Following this, the Executive Council will compile a list of candidates to be voted on at the Annual Meeting in December of each year.
  7. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the active members present shall be required for election into the Society.
Article  III: Dues
  1. Members shall pay annual dues, covering each calendar year, the amount of which for each year shall be determined by vote of the Society at the meeting in December. The proposed amount of annual dues shall be recommended by the Executive Council at its first meeting in June of each year.
  2. The names of members whose dues remain unpaid after three notifications in writing or electronically, not less than one month apart, may be deleted from the roll of membership or transferred to the senior list according to the discretion of the Executive Council.
  3. Dues are not required for members in the armed forces for the duration of their active service. The member should notify the treasurer if on active duty.
Article IV: Meetings
  1. The December meeting shall be the Annual Meeting. The other stated meetings may be held on any day in November, February, March and April that the Executive Council may deem advisable.
  2. At the beginning of each meeting an executive session may be held, during which only members of the Society shall be present. At this session the minutes of the previous executive session shall be read, the members and officers elected and any ordinary business of the Society transacted.
Article V: Suspension of By-Laws

The provisions of Section 2 of Article IV may be suspended at any meeting by a two-thirds vote of the active members present.

Article VI: Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended at any stated meeting provided that notice of the proposed amendment be given in the notice calling such meeting and also be given at the last preceding meeting. Articles III through V, inclusive, may be amended by a majority vote of the active members present, but Article I, II, and VI shall not be amended except by a two-thirds affirmative vote at a meeting at which at least one-third of the active members are present.

DISSOLUTION:  In the event of dissolution or final liquidation of the Society, all of its assets remaining after payment of its obligations have been made or provided for shall be distributed to and amongst such corporations, foundations, or other organizations operated exclusively for scientific and educational purposes consistent with those of the Society, an shall be designated by the Officers and Executive Council