The first National Symposium (originally known as the Edward C. Mazique, M.D. Symposium) was held as a pre-convention activity during the 1988 NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly Convention. The NMA’s Political Action Committee (NMPAC) sponsored the Symposium as a tribute to Edward C. Mazique, an NMA Past President.
The Symposium is now an integral part of NMA’s Annual Meeting, and has evolved into Convention’s marquee health policy forum.
Dr. Mazique was elected NMA President at an early point in his career, only 17 years after graduating from Howard University College of Medicine. His pre-President experience included a term as President of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia (MED-CHI) in 1952. He was one of the first African Americans to be admitted to the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and to be accepted on the medical staff of Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Mazique was also active in the NAACP’s efforts to integrate public schools.
Dr. Mazique’s term as president of the NMA was noteworthy, particularly for leading a delegation of medical colleagues to study health and medical problems in Russia, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and England. He was also instrumental in establishing the Ojike Medical Center in Nigeria for which he raised a quarter of a million dollars.
As an NMA representative, Dr. Mazique served on the Board of Directors of the Black Leadership Roundtable. He founded the NMA’s Past President’s Council and brought its well known “cane” back from Africa which is now traditionally passed from NMA’s current president to the new incoming president.
Upon integrating the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, Dr. Mazique became Chair of the District of Columbia Political Action Committee (DOC PAC) because of his knowledge and contacts with elected officials. DOC PAC is an affiliate of AMPAC, the Political Action Committee of the American Medical Association (AMA). Based upon this experience, he established and organized NMPAC, which sponsored seminars on an annual basis.
Originally, NMPAC seminars were primarily developed in concert with representatives of the Federal Elections Commission. As the NMA-NMPAC relationship developed, the NMPAC seminars became more political, with members of Congress or representatives of their staffs serving as presenters. Subsequently, Dr. Mazique involved NMA’s CML as the program committee for the seminars and relied on it to plan and secure funding for this and other symposia. The National Symposium is one of Dr. Edward C. Mazique’s sentinel achievements, a towering tribute to more than 40 years of dedicated service to his beloved National Medical Association.