The Texas Medical Association House of Delegates. That’s a mouthful. It’s also a great house. And it’s your house.
The House of Delegates is nearly 600 women and men: physicians, residents, and medical students of all specialties and from every corner of our vast state. Your house meets once a year to elect TMA leaders and decide TMA policy – what we believe in, what we stand for, what we’ll work for.
Our next meeting is May 1-2 at TexMed 2020 in Fort Worth. The house is TMA’s small-d-democratic, representative governing body. Each of you has one or more delegates and alternates in the house, representing your county medical society. They’ll be in Fort Worth to speak and vote for you.
Every TMA member is welcome to come watch the proceedings of the full house. And every member is welcome to speak on the issues in the reference committees, where the bulk of the work gets done. Each reference committee hears testimony on dozens of recommendations for new or amended TMA policy, and then sends its recommendations for the full house to consider.
As the speaker and vice speaker of your house, we want you to come to the reference committees. We want you to tell us what you think about these policies – on insurance and public health and medical education and Medicare and on how your TMA is run. But maybe you already have plans for that weekend, or maybe Fort Worth is a long way away. Don’t worry. You still can testify – via the internet – on every single report and resolution that’s on the House of Delegates’ agenda. (You can find the complete agenda at www.texmed.org/HOD under “2020 Handbook for Delegates.”)
We are pleased to announce the debut of the House of Delegates Online Testimony page on the TMA website at www.texmed.org/testimony. Just log in, pick an item of interest, and tell us what you think. You can submit documents and studies and links to support your position. And the reference committee will have that information, just like the in-person testimony they hear, as they deliberate and decide. It’s your opportunity to testify directly to the committee.
We want the reference committee members to hear from as many TMA members as possible as we work to set the best policy. Texas is such a big state, we need to use technology to allow a whole host of people who can’t attend the meeting to share their views and make their arguments.
This new tool is a direct connection between the leadership and the physicians we represent – an additional line from the membership in the trenches to the leaders of the organization.
TMA’s effectiveness can be measured only when you appreciate just how well your association operates compared to the others. While about one-third of state medical societies have done away with their houses of delegates, we are doubling down to make your house a better house. We are using technology to bring you and your ideas right into the house.
For the average member, TMA can seem distant sometimes. We are trying to close that gap. We want you to join us as we discuss the politics and policies of Texas health care and try to make Texas a better place for physicians.
We’re biased, obviously, but we both sincerely believe the TMA House of Delegates is a glorious demonstration of how effective a representative democracy can be.
It’s your house – the doctors’ house. Come on in.
P.S. If all of this sounds really exciting and motivating to you (and it is to us), you should consider running for the house to represent your county society. Just learning the process – understanding parliamentary procedure and coalition building – will make you a more effective leader in your practice, your hospital medical staff, and your community. Contact your county medical society for more information.
Tex Med. 2020;116(4):4
April 2020 Texas Medicine Contents
Texas Medicine Main Page
BRADFORD W. HOLLAND, MD, an otolaryngologist from Waco, is vice speaker of the house. ARLO F. WELTGE, MD, an emergency physician from Houston, is speaker of the TMA House of Delegates.