Women's Health


MSDC has long advocated for women's health protections, the rights of women physicians, and affordable care for women's issues. MSDC works closes with ACOG, AAFP, AAP, and other specialty organizations to craft local legislation that allows DC to be the best place to practice women's and maternal medicine.

In the face of a maternal mortality crisis in the District, engagement in these issues is more important than ever. Learn more about how MSDC is working to protect the health of women, mothers, and babies in all wards in the city.

MSDC Statements and Testimony on Women's Health Issues

25th Council information coming soon!



Learn About Our New Strategic Vision

Jul 12, 2023, 10:04 AM by Susanne Bathgate, MD
MSDC just approved a new strategic plan and vision. What does this mean for you and your practice?



At our June Board of Directors meeting, the MSDC Board approved a new strategic vision for the Society. I am writing to share why this matters to you and your practice, and show some highlights of this plan.

First, let's talk about the process. This plan came through serious thought and consideration of the direction of the Society. To help focus the conversation, MSDC hired Global Navigators to facilitate conversations and provide an outside perspective. Global Navigators interviewed the Board and Executive Vice President, and held a half-day retreat one weekend to have some honest discussion. Two Board meetings included long conversations about the strategic plan and various drafts.

Second, let's discuss what is in our strategic plan. The plan includes (a) a mission statement, (b) a vision statement, (c) our core values, (d) a new diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging statement, and (e) our objectives and goals to implement them.

Mission Statement

To ensure physician and patient well-being in the District of Columbia through the promotion of high-quality accessible care in a changing healthcare environment. 

Our mission is clear: your Society will work every day for you and your patients. We want the District to be a model of high-quality and accessible care even while recognizing that we face a rapidly changing world.

Vision Statement

To make the District of Columbia the nation’s model for patient care and physician practice.

The vision statement is the brief summary of our strategic vision, and we include it on every letter and written testimony we create. As you can see, we want to make DC a model across the country for how we care for patients and protect physicians practice, regardless of the type.

Core Values


Our values go beyond scientific knowledge. The Society values and promotes sound medicine (like we have since 1817), but also medicine that treats people with equity and compassion. As we will see in the DEIB statement, we recognize that past medical and Society practices may have downplayed these elements, but we now recognize that quality, equity, and compassion are essential to the practice of medicine and the mission of the Society.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

MSDC respects, welcomes, and celebrates all people and their diverse identities. We recognize the negative impact of health inequity across all facets of society. We are committed to working toward elimination of bias and healthcare disparities wherever they exist with the goal of ensuring that everyone belongs.

Our communities will flourish when we mutually celebrate and champion our unique strengths and diverse backgrounds.

This is MSDC's first equity statement, and we wanted to incorporate "belonging" to our DEI statement. We recognize that inequality has negatively impacted society and patient care, and your Society will work to eliminate bias and disparities. Not recognize or highlight, but eliminate. Our statement acknowledges that differences and diversity are a strength and we celebrate them in your Society's work.

Objectives and Goals

Objective 1: Become the Best Resource for Physicians Practicing in DC

  • Build greater awareness of MSDC among individual physicians and physician groups
  • Introduce MSDC to physicians new to the District of Columbia
  • Engage medical students, residents, fellows, and early-career physicians with mentorship and support
  • Engage licensed allied health professionals

Objective 2: Strengthen advocacy and outreach

  • Ensure MSDC provides a home where physicians in DC belong
  • Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging within medicine in DC
  • Build on existing relationships that further expand MSDC’s voice for physicians and patients
  • Extend outreach efforts by building new partnerships with key stakeholders

Objective 3: Ensure MSDC’s long-term Growth

  • Build member and partner value to ensure long-term commitment to MSDC
  • Increase the number of engaged members
  • Introduce a sound business plan that reflects MSDC’s long-term strategy
  • Optimize existing and explore new revenue streams

These are the three pillars on which our work and implementation of our plan will rest. The Society will execute our vision in three areas. First, your Society will provide resources to support physicians practicing in DC, no matter what type of practice, including engaging with all parts of your practice. Second, MSDC will grow what has consistently been our highest-rated member benefit, advocacy on behalf of the profession. Finally, we will continue to position the Society for sustained growth in the future despite uncertainty in the world around us.

That's our plan. How can you help or get involved? Sign-up to join one of our member groups or reach out to me via hay@msdc.org. We plan on this being a living document, guiding our work for the years to come.

Sample of Legislation MSDC Followed in Women's Health and Maternal Health

(See the whole list of bills here)

Postpartum Coverage Act of 2019 (B23-326)

What does the bill do? Extends postpartum inpatient and outpatient benefits to at least one year after childbirth

MSDC position: We support this legislation and the extension of insurance benefits to mothers and babies to help maternal health in the District

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Council and was signed into law by the Mayor on August 14, 2020.

Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Act (B23-434)

What does the bill do? The bill prohibits the District government from interfering with patients' reproductive health decisions and prohibits employers from punishing physicians who perform abortions or sterilizations outside of their employment.

MSDC position: We support this legislation as it allows physicians freedom of practice.

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Committee on Government Operations in January. MSDC submitted testimony at the December hearing, and MSDC member Sara Imershein testified at the hearing. The Council passed the bill and the Mayor signed it into law on March 23, 2020.

Maternal Health Care Improvement and Expansion Act (B23-362)

What does the bill do? The bill extends coverage for maternal health issues and fertility preservation, creates a Maternal Health Center in the District, and mandates two hours of cultural competence CME for health care providers.

MSDC position: We oppose the bill without changes due to inclusion of mandatory CME and some of the definitions in the bill being medically questionable.

Current status: The bill had a hearing in the Committee on Health in December, with MSDC member Dr. Sara Imershein testifying for MSDC and ACOG.