The House of Delegates (HOD) is truly where AMSA’s members take ownership of the Association. As AMSA’s official policy-making body, the HOD allows representatives from each local medical chapter to meet once a year at the Annual Convention to vote on AMSA’s policies and to elect our national officers. The HOD is open to all members of AMSA to speak and vote. You, AMSA’s members, debate the issues, make the amendments and cast the votes to shape AMSA’s policies. Most importantly, any member of AMSA has the ability to write and submit resolutions to the HOD. We encourage everyone to submit and debate resolutions.
AMSA’s policies and principles are changed only by the HOD. This body is the sole force that determines AMSA’s official views on all issues. The Board of Trustees (BOT) spends its year implementing policies originated in the House. Because the HOD is similar to Congress, AMSA’s policies are set when members submit resolutions to the House. Similar to bills in Congress, a resolution is a call for AMSA to endorse a certain principle, change its internal structure or even eliminate a past policy that is no longer by AMSA’s membership. These resolutions are available on the HOD website at least a month in advance of the Convention. Each chapter designates an official delegate, whose responsibilities include helping the local president coordinate a local chapter discussion of the resolutions. Local chapters should then read, discuss and vote on each resolution prior to convention, thus instructing their delegate how to vote. The Premedical Caucus is represented by up to five delegates. The Graduate Caucus is represented by up to ten delegates selected at Convention. Resolutions are also available online.
On Friday at the Annual Convention, chapters can discuss resolutions during regional meetings. After these meetings, the reference committees, comprised of AMSA members, begin their open session. During the open sessions, members offer testimony and opinions about the resolutions as individuals or as a representative of their respective region. The reference committees then prepare a report to present recommendations about each of the resolutions to the full HOD (i.e. like congressional subcommittees).
The HOD business sessions will begin on Friday evening of the AMSA’s Convention. In the evening, the HOD will hear candidate speeches and elect next year’s Board of Trustees. On Saturday’s business session, the House debates the resolutions submitted by members using a modified Robert’s Rules of Order. The HOD will be chaired by the Vice President for Internal Affairs and the National Secretary serves as Vice Chair. During business sessions, delegates from each chartered medical chapter debate and vote on the resolutions. Resolutions that the House adopts are then included in AMSA’s Preamble, Purposes and Principles (or PPP, AMSA’s official policy document). These new policies then guide the BOT and AMSA staff members work during the upcoming year.