Page 9 - Volume 69, Number 4
P. 9

I Have Something To Say
By Richard E. Burney, MD
An Analysis of the 2017 House of Delegates Meeting
It is not too soon to be developing resolutions for the 2018 House of Delegates. Washtenaw County Medical Society has always been looked to for progressive thinking and patient-centeredness in its resolutions. However, the process of developing resolutions has been more or less ad hoc, with a scramble at the end to get the draft resolutions formatted correctly and submitted on time.
In an effort to develop resolutions more systematically this year, WCMS will start the process earlier.
To better inform the process, I did an analysis of the resolutions that came before the HOD last year. I catego- rized them and assigned my own set of values to them. My observation is that many of the resolutions brought before the HOD were a waste of time, reflected parochial interests, unknowingly duplicated existing policy, or asked MSMS, to spin its wheels in quixotic pursuits. While this process may appear to be democratic in that anyone and everyone has a chance to participate, the wasted time it generated detracted from the effectiveness of both organizations. Important issues that should have received high priority were lost among the myriad of others and did not get the attention they deserved.
As shown in the table below, most resolutions were,
in my view, low priority. Some resolutions called for things that were already established AMA policy. Others asked for clearly unachievable results or were anticompetitive in nature (e.g., banning pharmacy vaccinations), or sought to limit the scope of practice of non-physicians. On the other hand, a small number were very important for society. An example of a resolution I thought was of high importance was one from the student section, calling for “better enforce(ment of) compliance with the standardization
of abortion training opportunities as per ACOG guide- lines.” A trivial one called for tighter control on service pet registration. An unnecessary one called for the AMA to continue to work with the Department of HHS in spite
of Tom Price having been appointed its Secretary.
Although the discussion engendered by the various resolutions may have help focus attention on what is important, the sheer number of resolutions prevented that from happening. There needs to be a better way to filter out the low value items. As it is, a large number of resolutions are approved or amended that will have no discernable impact on anything.
Analysis of the 2017 HOD
In 2017, by my count 104 items were listed for consideration in the HOD handbook. They were distributed to the following Reference Committees
for presentation and consideration: Internal Affairs
(7 items), Legislation (20), Medical Care Delivery (28), Public Health (25), Scientific/Education (20), and Reaffirmation (4). The bulk of the resolutions went before 4 committees, severely limiting discussion.
Given the breadth of the committee jurisdictions, the range of topics or issues in the resolutions that went before each committee was great – too great to categorize easily – and they did not always fit into the assigned jurisdiction.
The titles of the resolutions do not always describe what the intent or underlying issue really is. I did my own
Category
Humber of Resolutions
High Priority
Moderate Priority
Low Priority
Not Applicable
Patient Centered
9
2
7
Environment Centered
3
3
Legislation/ Regulation
11
1
4
6
Payment
1
1
Physician Centered
6
1
5
Physician/ Practice
19
4
14
1
Physician Practice Regulation
3
2
1
AMA Policy
2
1
1
Post-Graduate Education
3
3
Practice-related policy
6
1
5
Practice/ Post-grad education
3
1
1
1
Public Health
21
3
5
9
3
Regulations
9
2
5
2
Patient-centered Regulation
5
2
1
1
Volume 69 • Number 4 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 9
Most of the resolutions came from 5 counties and the medical student section, which submitted 18, 7 of which I considered a high or moderate priority.


































































































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