In 1973, Ronald R. Lubritz, MD, FAAD, FACP received phone calls from fellow dermatologists regarding Medicare’s rejection of certain skin procedures. He decided to contact Medicare about this. At the time, the Medicare manager was Mike Davis. He stated that he was open to discussion, but he had no dermatology organization to deal with. That would soon be remedied.
Dr. Lubritz called dermatologists around the state, and a meeting was called at the Alumni House at the University in Jackson. At this meeting it was decided to establish the Mississippi Dermatological Society. Dr. James Grant Thompson was elected our first President. Dr. Lubritz was elected Secretary and Medicare Representative. Dr Lubritz distinctly remembers, while at the blackboard suggesting an organization scheme and priorities, he looked over toward Dr. Thompson and saw him fall out of his chair in a dead faint. Dr. Thompson revived and was taken to the Emergency Room. A few weeks later he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died a short time later.
All involved thought this was an inauspicious beginning to our society. However, we were then able to resolve the immediate issues with Medicare. From that point forward the society became a unified voice representing the member physicians as they advocate for their patients.
Dr Lubritz served for sixteen years as President and alongside him Sabra Sullivan, MD, FAAD, PhD, as Vice President (who continues in her office). Dr. Lubritz remains very involved.
In 2016, our name was changed to the Mississippi Dermatology Association.