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AMA-MSS Resolutions and Policy Actions

Thank you for your interest in Medical Student Section(MSS) Policy and resolutions! Resolutions are essentially proposals for new policy positions that you think the MSS and/or the AMA House of Delegates should support.   

In order to create dynamic policy, MSS members can submit resolutions on important topics in medicine that existing AMA policy and MSS policy do not currently address.  Alternatively, students wishing to have the MSS or AMA act on existing policies should submit an MSS GC Action Item, which asks the leadership of the MSS use policy to initiate change.

To take part in this process, students need to know some general information and become familiar with specific procedures.  To help in these steps, the following is a list of important resources, deadlines, and other information that authors should review before authoring a resolution:  

MSS Virtual Reference Committee

This year, the MSS is piloting a completely Virtual Reference Committee (VRC), which will replace the traditional live reference committee hearing at the MSS meeting.  The VRC is a response to the increase in resolution submissions in recent years, and it enables students to access, review, and comment on resolutions in advance of the Assembly.

The VRC opens for comment on Friday April 25th and closes for comment on Friday May 16th. The comments, “testimony,” will be considered by the Reference Committee, who will draft a FINAL report that will be available for review by MSS members on Friday May 30th—one week before the Assembly convenes.  This report will serve as the basis for extraction, discussion and voting at the MSS Annual Meeting on Friday June 6th.

The Virtual Reference Committee offers two benefits.  First, the VRC allows for additional programming during the Annual Meeting. Second, the VRC gives interested delegates and other MSS members equal opportunity to provide testimony regardless of ability to attend the Annual Meeting.

Comments to the VRC should be prepared as if they are being presented to the Reference Committee and should address the item under consideration and include specific suggestions for changes, if appropriate.  Comments ought not be directed at previous comments or individuals.  Since your community username may not necessarily be your full name, please sign comments with your name. If you list your position or school, note you are doing so in an individual capacity. Additionally, only list your chapter, region, or state if you have approval to speak on behalf of that group.

Access the Virtual Reference Committee

Resolution Writing Guide

Effective policy is focused, flexible, and forward-looking. Take some time to learn what makes a strong resolution by reviewing the AMA-MSS Resolution Writing Guide.

2014 Annual Meeting Information and Deadlines


April 3, 2014:

  • Deadline to submit resolution drafts to Andrea Preisler, MSS Staff Policy Analyst.  Your resolution will subsequently be posted to a forum that will allow MSS Delegates, MSS-HCC members, and MSS delegates to offer suggestions related to your resolution.
  • Deadline to complete all tasks and submit the MSS Resolution Checklist.

April 17, 2014:

  • Deadline to submit background documents for inclusion in MSS Reference Committee background book (optional but highly recommended).
  • Deadline to submit final draft of resolution to Andrea Preisler, MSS Staff Policy Analyst.

Suggested Resolution topics
AMA-MSS Resolution Template and Formatting Guide

Please note that all AMA-MSS resolutions must be written and submitted on the AMA-MSS resolution template.

Any resolutions received that do not follow this template will be returned to their author and not accepted until properly formatted.

  • The MSS Delegate and Alternate Delegate have created a resolution formatting guideline/tips document to help authors follow proper formatting protocol.

Resolution Alternatives

Before you write a resolution:
Writing a resolution can be an excellent way to accomplish a wide range of goals, from asking the AMA-MSS or AMA to support a broad idea to asking the AMA-MSS or AMA to take a specific action. However, writing a resolution is not always the most effective way to accomplish your goal. Before writing your resolution, please take a few minutes to learn more about some resolution alternatives that might better address your ultimate goal.

Resolution Checklist

MSS Resolution Checklist:

While writing and editing your resolution, it is imperative that you share your work with your fellow medical students and other AMA members. Revision of your resolution based on this peer review will improve the quality and relevance of your resolution and could ultimately improve its chances of being adopted and successfully implemented.

The AMA-MSS Resolution Checklist outlines a series of tasks, including seeking peer review, that resolution authors must complete prior to submission of their resolutions. Specifically:

  • All resolution authors are required to send drafts of their resolutions to AMA-MSS Staff two weeks before the final resolution deadline.  The resolutions will be posted to an online collection so that other medical students can review and comment. We highly recommend that you take these comments under consideration and work with AMA-MSS leaders and subject-matter experts to improve your resolution.
  • In addition to peer review, resolution authors are required to contact AMA-MSS school, state, or region leaders about their resolutions. If your resolution will eventually be forwarded to the AMA House of Delegates (i.e. if it asks the AMA as a whole, not just the AMA Medical Student Section to do something), you are also required to contact the physicians who represent your state in the HOD as well as the physcians who represent relevant medical specialty societies.

Regional Delegate Contact Information

In accordance with the resolution checklist, authors are required to contact their regional delegates about their resolutions.  Please see the Regional Delegate List for contact information.

Have a Question? (MSS Delegates and Staff Contact Information)

Questions? We're here to help!

Please contact any of the following with questions about any aspect of the MSS resolution or policy-making process: