What Is the House of Delegates?
Who runs TMA? YOU DO! The association is governed by a 472-member House of Delegates, the legislative and policymaking body. The house is made up of elected county medical society delegates (one delegate per 100 members or fraction) and the following ex officio: members of the Board of Trustees, 15 councilors, Texas delegates and alternate delegates to the American Medical Association, members of the Council on Legislation and chairs of the other councils, delegates from the Young Physician Section, International Medical Graduate Section, Resident and Fellow Section, and Medical Student Section, and delegates of selected specialty societies.
The House of Delegates meets every year at an annual session held during TexMed in the spring.
The best way to get your idea or change adopted as TMA policy is at the grassroots level. Present your idea or change at your county medical society meeting. If the county agrees, your idea is submitted as a resolution at the next meeting of the House of Delegates. If adopted by the house, and if it has nationwide appeal, it may be forwarded to the AMA for action. If the county does not agree with your idea or recommendation, you may contact a delegate from your society and ask that he or she submit a resolution for consideration by the house.
Ideas and action also are developed and sent to the house by association boards, councils, committees, and sections.
Being a delegate to TMA means you will be involved in determining the policies of the Texas Medical Association and the election of the officers of the TMA. Your participation is critical to the goals and future of the TMA.
The House of Delegates meets each spring, April or May, at the annual session of the TMA, which is called TexMed. As you may know TexMed is held in various cities. Your attendance at these sessions, whether you are a delegate or alternate delegate, is critical to the Bexar County Medical Society and the TMA.
Some of you may wonder what the duties of a member of the House of Delegates are. Members of the House of Delegates may propose resolutions for the House to consider, and all resolutions submitted for consideration to the House are debated. These resolutions may cover a number of subjects including Public Health issues, legislative and regulatory issues, medical education, and a host of other areas affecting the practice of medicine in Texas and the United States. Members of the House elect the officers of the Association, the at large Trustees, and delegates and alternate delegates to the AMA.
Being a member of the House of Delegates is a fantastic way to network with physicians all across Texas. You will learn the diversity of the practice of medicine in Texas as well as come to understand your issues are often the same as those of our colleagues in West Texas or the Panhandle. You may also come to realize a problem or issue in Dallas may not be apparent in San Antonio, yet, or in some cases the problem is isolated to one region of the State, but our fellow physicians need the resources of the TMA to help solve a problem. One day you may face a similar situation.
Finally, each year physicians across the State are given the opportunity to serve on TMA committees and councils. These groups are where policies are developed, problems solved, and new ideas born. This grass root approach is the heart and soul of the TMA and the reason for our successes. In Bexar County we look to our delegation to identify people willing to serve on committee and councils. In some instances you may want to serve and in others you may know a person wanting to serve. Serving on committees and councils is a path to other leadership positions in the TMA if that becomes your desire.