The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) was founded in 1991 by a visionary group of leaders to serve as the active voice for clinical endocrinologists. At the time, clinical endocrinology had no input to the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), nor was clinical endocrinologists represented in the health policymaking bodies of most influential physician societies (i.e., American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine). To address this need, a steering committee of 26 clinical endocrinologists from across the country accepted responsibility and dedicated a great deal of time and effort to creating AACE. Much care was given to choosing a name in order to reflect the organization's emphasis on providing practicing clinical endocrinologists an avenue for the study of the scientific, social, political, and economic aspects of endocrinology consistent with maintaining the highest levels of patient care and standards of medical practice.
The impetus behind AACE's efforts has always been quality and cost-effective patient care for those with endocrine diseases and disorders. The need for AACE was evidenced by the phenomenal growth in membership in the first year with the receipt of 1,162 membership applications. In one of its most ambitious undertakings, the founding Board of Directors announced plans for the first AACE Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress to be held in Orlando at the end of April 1992. The Board planned and executed, in less than four months time, a high quality academic program, including clinical and socioeconomic sessions, workshops and national lecturers. Highly respected speakers and workshop leaders were recruited, including Alan R. Nelson, MD, FACE, who was then President of the World Medical Association, Past President of the American Medical Association, and newly-named Executive Vice President of ASIM. Dr. Nelson began a tradition that has continued at the AACE Congress of bringing a leader of organized medicine to focus on major challenges to the profession.
Through the years, AACE has built a strong network of political and professional allies enhancing recognition of its role as the representative of clinical endocrinology around the world. AACE was granted delegate status in the American Medical Association House of Delegates in 1996 and formed the Endocrine Section Council (June 2000) with the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and The Endocrine Society in order to collectively represent the interest of endocrinology in the largest and most influential medical policymaking body in the world. In addition, AACE has established effective liaisons with multiple endocrine-related medical societies domestically (e.g., ADA, TES, ASRM, AAES, ATA, NOF, ISCD, ASBMR, etc.) and continues to build similar relationships on an international scale, including the International Diabetes Federation, the International Congress on Endocrinology, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and others.
Today, AACE has over 6,500 members in the United States and 90 other countries. From its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, AACE has reached out to clinical endocrinologists throughout the nation and abroad to enlist their participation in an association dedicated to the principles of patient care, education and clinical research which have made American medicine the world leader. Thousands continue to respond to this call. AACE's continued growth is a testament to the importance of its mission and the need for such an organization now and in the future.
The AACE Board of Directors remains committed to the Association's mission and providing its members with an ever-expanding scope of programs and activities.