What does a delegate do at the Annual Meeting?
Delegates gather as the House of Delegates at the Annual Meeting. Their job is to be lawmakers for the MMA for one and a half days.
They vote on all resolutions calling for MMA actions or policies that are put forward by component medical societies, specialty societies, and individuals.
In a typical year there are about 150 delegates who consider about 50 resolutions, listening to testimony in committee hearings and voting. Delegates may testify before reference committees, in support or in opposition to resolutions. Delegates may also submit resolutions themselves, either as individuals or through their component medical society, specialty society, or section.
Delegates also elect the officers for the year to come.
What if a person wanted to learn more about the
House of Delegates?
The MMA has created a brief manual explaining the House of Delegates.
What does the typical schedule include?
See the 2012 schedule.
An overview of the meeting follows:
Friday afternoon will begin with Reference Committee open hearings. There are usually three to four reference committees, each devoted to a different range of issues.
Reference committees consist of about five physicians who listen to delegates express their opinions on the resolutions. Delegates may testify and listen to the debate. Then the reference committee goes into executive session and writes a report with recommendations for action by the House of Delegates on Saturday.
Complete this short form to express your interest in serving on a committee.
A variety of educational topics will be offered Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. MMA members who are not able to serve as delegates to the House of Delegates are welcome to attend these free sessions. The specific topics are listed on the agenda.
The new MMA president is inaugurated Friday evening. The inaugural includes a wonderful dinner, MMA awards and the actual inaugural ceremony. This year's inaugural will feature HC/MC, a band from Hennepin County Medical Center, featuring fellow physicians.
On Saturday morning, the component medical societies meet to caucus, reviewing the Reference Committee reports and recommendations. The physicians from the Twin Cities Metro area caucus in one group and those from Greater Minnesota caucus in another.
A networking lunch follows a Keynote Address and education sessions. The MMA House of Delegates (HOD) convenes Saturday afternoon.
House of Delegates
At the HOD, delegates have an opportunity to extract any resolution from the Reference Committee reports and to testify on resolutions that have been extracted. By approving resolutions, the House of Delegates sets the direction for MMA policy. The House of Delegates can recommend to adopt, not adopt, refer to the Board, amend, or adopt a substitute resolution.
Delegates elect MMA leaders during the HOD. In the spring there is a nomination period, in which every member is invited to put forth the names of physicians they feel would do a good job at the key positions:
- MMA President-elect: a backup to the President, who serves as the MMA's main spokesperson. The president-elect is inaugurated president at the annual meeting the following year.
- Secretary-treasurer: manages the financial affairs of the association, and chairs the Committee on Administration & Finance.
- Speaker, MMA House of Delegates: presides at House of Delegates meetings
- Vice speaker, MMA House of Delegates: assists the Speaker of the House
- Trustees: manage the affairs of the MMA and set policy between sessions of the House of Delegates.
- AMA delegation: manage the affairs of the MMA and sets policy between sessions of the House of Delegates.
Delegates receive an Election Guide, with background information on the candidates.
If you are interested in being considered for an MMA office or if you would like to recommend a colleague to the committee, contact MMA CEO Robert Meiches, M.D., at email@example.com.
A few key MMA leaders provide reports at the HOD and there is often a report from the American Medical Association.
Does being a delegate really make any difference?
Yes. Delegates set the course of action for the MMA. Debating and voting for resolutions have a ripple effect, providing guidance to other leaders and opinion-makers, while impacting the practice of medicine and your profession.
So how do I sign up?
Easy: express your interest to your component medical society, specialty society, or section. A phone call will do it. If you don't have your CMS phone number handy, see our list at this link. Or, simply complete this interest form and MMA will forward your interest to the appropriate person. Let them know that you’ve never been a delegate before and want to get involved.
Every MMA member is welcome to take part!