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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 or the AMA House of Delegates should support.   

In order to create dynamic policy, MSS members may submit resolutions on important topics in medicine that existing AMA policy and MSS policy currently do not 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 to 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.

If you are new to the resolution writing process and would like to work with an experienced member of the MSS to help craft your resolution, please contact Mark Kashtan, MSS Delegate.

MSS Virtual Reference Committee

At the 2014 Annual Meeting, the MSS piloted a completely Virtual Reference Committee (VRC), which replaced 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 allows individuals to comment, or "testify," on items of business. All comments are considered by the Reference Committee, who subsequently drafts a final report available for review by MSS members one week before the Assembly convenes.  This report serves as the basis for extraction, discussion and voting at the MSS Assembly Meeting.

The Virtual Reference Committee offers two benefits.  First, the VRC streamlines the policymaking process. Second, the VRC gives interested delegates and other MSS members equal opportunity to provide testimony regardless of ability to attend the 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.

The 2015 Annual Meeting Virtual Reference Committee opens Thursday April 23rd and closes Thursday May 14th.

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.

2015 Annual Meeting Information and Deadlines

  • Thursday April 2nd: Draft Resolution Deadline
  • Thursday April 16th: Final Resolution Deadline
  • Thursday April 23rd: Virtual Reference Committee (VRC) Opens
  • Thursday May 14th: Virtual Reference Committee (VRC) Closes
  • Friday May 29th: Reference Committee Report Released

Suggested Resolution topics

The following issues have been identified by your Delegates as significant, timely and relevant to medical student advocacy.  If you are considering writing a resolution but have not yet settled on a subject, please consider addressing one of the following topics:

  1. Going beyond GME reform and addressing the reality of a growing population of medical students who fail to Match.
  2. Accelerating the rapid integration of existing and emerging technologies into the medical field as a means to increase efficiency, decrease cost, and improve the quality of patient care.
  3. Pursuing novel methods to increase the affordability of medical school in order to lower barriers to socioeconomically disadvantaged candidates and decrease the influence of debt on career choice.

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: