The California Medical Association House of Delegates, CMA's principal policymaking body, establishes the policies that guide the Association and elects CMA's President-Elect, Speaker and Vice Speaker. The House convenes annually to debate and act on proposals dealing with myriad policy matters concerning medical practice, public health and CMA governance.
Composition of the House of Delegates
The House of Delegates is composed of delegates (most of whom have an alternate delegate) who are elected to represent their peers geographically, by medical specialty or by mode of practice.
As described in CMA's bylaws, county medical societies, specialty societies and mode of practice forums are entitled to a number of delegates determined by a "proportionate representation" formula based on the membership count each December 31.
County medical societies are grouped into 11 geographic districts, with the delegates from the medical societies in each district comprising a district delegation.
Composition of District VI Delegation
Fresno-Madera Medical Society is part of CMA's District VI delegation, comprising thirteen counties and a total of eight component medical societies. In addition to FMMS, District VI represents Kern County Medical Society, Kings County Medical Society, Merced-Mariposa Medical Society, San Joaquin Medical Society, Stanislaus Medical Society, Tulare County Medical Society and Tuolumne County Medical Society.
District VI delegation meets at least once before the Annual Session to consider endorsement of resolutions from within the delegation and to discuss positions on the issues. During each annual meeting of the House ("Annual Session"), District VI Delegation meets daily to review reference committee reports, take positions on key issues and meet with candidates for elected offices. Delegation chairs comprise the Speakers' Advisory Committee, which meets daily during Annual Session and as needed during the year.
Responsibilities of Delegates
The most fundamental responsibility of delegates is to represent their constituents in the House of Delegates by attending and actively participating in delegation caucus meetings and in all sessions of the House. Individual delegations may have their own rules setting forth additional or more specific duties and responsibilities. These may include the following:
- Communicate CMA policy, information, activities and programs to constituents
- Relate constituent views to the appropriate CMA leaders, governing body or executive Staff
- Advocate constituent views within the House of Delegates or other governance unit, including through the introduction of resolutions
- Report highlights of House of Delegates meetings to constituents (for example, at hospital medical staff, county, state and specialty society meetings)
- Participate in leadership development opportunities, such as the CMA Leadership Academy
In carrying out their duties, delegates are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance and guidance of their delegation chair and other experienced members of their delegation.
Any member may author a resolution for consideration by the CMA House of Delegates. A resolution can propose new or revised policy on any issue related to CMA's mission or governance. That body of policy or a new resolution can direct CMA to take a position on a particular issue or to take a specific action – for example, to support or oppose legislation. The ability of any individual member to propose a policy or action for consideration by the House of Delegates exemplifies the truly democratic governance of CMA.
For more information, contact:
Lawrence Frank, MD
HOD Frequently Asked Questions