The size of the Society of Clinical Surgery’s membership is deliberately kept small. Members are elected before age 45 and are active members until age 55. They must have an official connection with some medical institution, whether school, hospital or laboratory.

Through its meetings, the Society affords members opportunities to demonstrate advances in operative methods and surgical teaching. Meeting hosts arrange presentations and demonstrations at their institutions to help keep members abreast of current surgical ideas and techniques. The meetings also include dinners and receptions, which provide time for socializing.

Though meetings have been held primarily in the United States, a few meetings were held abroad and offered surgeons the opportunity for foreign travel. Until 1974, the Society usually met twice a year. Then, the Society adopted a policy of single annual meetings.

The membership application system is now open for the 2023/2024 application cycle.