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Founded in 1788 as The Society for Relief of Widows and Orphans of Medical Men

History & Evolution

SAMF was founded in 1788 in the Gray’s Inn Coffee House. It was originally called The Society for Relief of Widows and Orphans of Medical Men, there being no medical women at that time.

The original fund was started by the seven doctors contributing three guineas each. By 1805 the membership had grown to 300 and the fund to £13,300.

This was at a time before state benefits and only the poor-house awaited those left destitute. At first, the Society only helped those living in London and its immediate vicinity. It wasn’t until 1964 that the by-laws were altered to permit doctors resident within 60 miles of Charing Cross to become members.

The funds subscribed over the last two centuries have been carefully invested by the trustees to ensure a good annual income that can be deployed to assist beneficiaries. In the early part of the twentieth century, the widows of one in five members were applying for assistance. Many doctors looked upon membership of the Society as the provision they made for their families after their demise.

By the 1980s, sound financial planning and the changing needs of members allowed SAMF to expand its remit to provide charitable assistance to the wider medical profession. Today, membership is open to doctors living anywhere in the British Isles.

SAMF History- Doctors Association UK

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Information | SAMF still supporting doctors

SAMF Today

200 years on, SAMF is still supporting doctors and their families in times of need. The nature of that need has changed. And we’ve expanded our areas of help to keep pace with that.

Who We Are- Association of Doctors

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SAMF is stewarded by our Court of Directors who work closely with people applying for funds to understand their needs and how we can contribute. Find out more about who’s involved.