Bassett doctor elected to state Medical Society leadership post


The Medical Society of the State of New York elected a Cobleskill doctor as its president-elect last week.

Dr. Joseph R. Sellers, who serves as medical director for Bassett Healthcare’s Eastern Region and is an attending physician at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown and Cobleskill Regional Hospital, was elected to serve a one-year term as president-elect and will take over as the MSSNY president on May 7, 2021.

“We’re an organization that’s been around for 213 years,” Sellers said, explaining the year-long term as president-elect. “They figured out a long time ago how to make sure our leadership is well-prepared.”

Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal nonprofit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties, according to a media release. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Sellers previously served as MSSNY vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer and secretary, and chaired its political action committee for nearly a decade.

He served MSSNY’s Third District as president from 1998 to 2004 and as councilor from 2004 to 2010.

“We’ve stuck together as an agency through a whole lot of stuff over the years,” Sellers said. “We have a long history of helping physicians through different illnesses and pandemics, from polio to tuberculosis and all the things that plague our communities.

“Last year, we thought we were challenged with the measles epidemic,” he said. “Not like COVID, but it certainly did get us thinking about how to respond to pandemics.”

MSSNY recently launched a peer-to-peer support network to help its members cope with the emotional toll of caring for coronavirus patients, Sellers said. “Physicians across the state are stepping up and helping out, especially for our downstate colleagues.”

A unit of the American Medical Association, MSSNY members were instrumental in establishing a nationwide health disparities division to study the social determinants of health, including race, gender, age and income, Sellers said.

“I’m very proud to be able to help represent physicians and lead our community,” Sellers said. “I’m very grateful that my colleagues chose me to do this and I look forward to the challenging year ahead.”

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.

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