Page 14 - Volume 69 Number 2
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Washtenaw County Resolutions to the MSMS House of Delegates
With the MSMS House of Delegates meeting on the horizon, I thought this would be a good time show the membership the seven resolutions from the Washtenaw County Medical Society that have been accepted for consideration at the May 5-6 HOD in Grand Rapids, and also to say a few things about the “House of Delegates” model, which not all readers may be familiar with, but which is used by many large membership organizations.
There is a tendency today, given how busy we all are, to be passive participants in the various professional organizations we belong (or feel we have to belong) to. We are satisfied to let the “leadership” with whom we may or may not be familiar make the decisions. The House of Delegates model provides the avenue for active participation by the local society membership in shaping the policies of the central body. It keeps the leadership apprised of the ideas and concerns at the local level, while at the same time educates the delegates about issues at a higher level that they may not be aware of. When it works, it is quite a busy two-way highway.
Here is how it works. Ideas and concerns that mem- bers may have are crafted into resolutions to be brought before the house. Resolutions demand structure and logic: a series of “whereas” clauses followed by a “resolved” clause. The crafting of an idea into a resolu- tion serves the purpose of forcing the author to put forth a logical defense his or her proposal. At the local chapter meeting, where these draft resolutions are first offered, they are immediately challenged by fellow members as to what the real purpose of the resolution is – what problem are you trying to solve; and whether the argu- ment that is being made holds water: are the “whereas” clauses true; do they support the “resolved?” It also forces one to consider what it is one wants done: who will do what the resolution calls for and how will it be done? Is there a specific action one is requesting of
the state medical society? Is the issue one of national importance that if adopted can go to the AMA House
of Delegates for consideration?
The process can seem arcane when one first encoun- ters it but it serves a purpose, which is to enable civil debate and give every resolution a fair hearing. Resolu- tions approved locally are submitted to the state organi- zation where they are reviewed for format and relevance to existing policy. (You will see these notations below resolutions 1 and 2 below.) They are assigned to a “Reference Committee” for initial presentation and debate (also shown below). Reference committees usually have 3 or 4 members. There are a number of reference committees, each of which will be assigned a group of resolutions to consider that fall under the same general category (e.g., public health). It is a good idea for
the author of the resolution to be present at the reference committee hearing to defend the resolution and answer questions, because this is where the action is. The reference committee members, taking the discussion into consideration, has the option of recommending the resolution be adopted or rejected; or it may suggest a substitute resolution with modifications based on the debate; or if there is more than one resolution on the same topic, combine them. The reference committee deliberations go into a “Report” to the House of Del- egates for adoption or rejection. No matter what the reference committee members think of it, they have to consider each resolution and explain their recommenda- tions in their report.
Washtenaw County has never been shy about submit- ting resolutions, and has a reputation for forward thinking resolutions and for supporting causes that may be thought of as “liberal” not necessarily because they are, but just because of Ann Arbor’s reputation. When the process works, even if our resolutions are not adopted, the HOD serves as a forum to educate all participants and lay the groundwork for changing opinion on important if sometimes controversial topics. It is particularly important in this regard that we have more brown, black and blond hair and less gray hair at our meetings and engaged in trying to shape the future.
Presented below are the seven resolutions that Washtenaw County is sponsoring for this year’s HOD. I suggest you read them and see what you think. Do they represent your point of view? Is there an issue you would have liked to see addressed that wasn’t? If you have something to say or you think you can do better,
we’d love to hear from you.
Title: Interstate Medical Compact for Licensure
Introduced by: Richard E. Burney, MD, for the Washtenaw County Delegation
Original Author: Richard E. Burney, MD Referred to: Reference Committee B House Action:
Whereas, modern medical practice often crosses state lines and physicians that practice in more than one state must have licenses in each of those states, and
Whereas, licensing requirements and regulations vary from state to state, making it cumbersome and time- consuming to acquire and maintain multi-state licensure, and
Whereas, interstate compacts are a way for states to cooperate and agree to accept other types of licenses, such as driver’s licenses, and
14 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN APRIL / MAY / JUNE 2017

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