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AMA Board of Trustees

The AMA House of Delegates elects the AMA Board of Trustees. The Board has ultimate responsibility for setting Association priorities and for making decisions regarding how to allocate the Association's financial resources. Also among its responsibilities are interpreting and implementing policies established by the House.

AMA officers/trustees represent the Association before governmental agencies and national and international health-related organizations, as well as at policy forums, public information meetings and media relations events. They also appear before various Federation audiences (state, county, and specialty societies), alliances, civic groups, medical schools, group practices and business organizations. Trustees may also testify to congressional committees and federal agencies.

With regard to organization of the Board itself, the AMA Bylaws simply require that "immediately following the conclusion of the annual convention, the Board shall organize by electing a chair, a vice chair, a secretary-treasurer, and committees necessary for its functions." The Bylaws also call for the election of an executive committee of at least three members. Beyond that, the Bylaws are silent on the internal organization of the Board and the process by which the Board determines its operating rules and procedures. The presumption is that such consideration is best determined by the Board itself in response to needs and circumstances at a particular time.

The AMA-BOT consists of twenty-one members, including designated positions for a public member, young physician, resident physician and a medical student.

Specific information on the Young Physician Trustee seat

  • The young physician trustee is elected as a representative of young physicians. The AMA House of Delegates elects the young physician trustee (like it elects all other trustees). The AMA-YPS does not elect the young physician trustee.
  • The Young Physicians Section does not run a candidate for election. The AMA-YPS has the ability to endorse the candidacy of one or more young physicians running for this trustee position.
  • A majority of the legal votes cast is necessary to elect the young physician trustee. In case a nominee fails to receive a majority of the legal votes cast, the individual receiving the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated, and a new ballot is taken.
  • The young physician member shall be elected for a term of four years, and shall not serve more than two terms.
  • A young physician trustee must be an active physician member of the AMA under 40 years of age, who is not a resident physician. A young physician elected to the Board is eligible to serve his/her full (four) year term for which he/she was elected, even though the physician may reach 40 years of age during that term. However, a member 40 years of age or over 40 years of age shall not be eligible to be nominated for election or re-election to the young physician position on the Board of Trustees.
  • A member elected to the young physician trustee seat shall be limited to a maximum tenure of eight years, whether as a young physician member or in any combination of service as young physician or at-large Trustee.
  • The Young Physician seat came about as a result of a resolution introduced by the Young Physicians Section in 1992. The AMA Council on Long Range Planning and Development was assigned responsibility for studying the need for a young physician trustee position and for issuing a recommendation as to the feasibility of implementing such a seat. CLRPD’s recommendation was favorable and ratified by the AMA House of Delegates in December 1993. The first election for the "young physician" seat was held in June 1995, and Regina Benjamin, MD (Alabama), was elected. The second trustee, elected in 1998 was Bruce Scott, MD, a former member of the AMA Young Physicians Section Governing Council. In 2002, AMA delegates elected John H. Armstrong, MD, also a former member of the AMA Young Physicians Section Governing Council. In 2006, another AMA-YPS former Governing Council member Steven Stack, MD, was elected to a four-year term on the AMA Board in the young physician position.
  • View the YPS criteria for endorsing a young physician running for the young physician Board of Trustee seat

Time commitment

  • The AMA-BOT meets a minimum of four times a year.
  • The time commitment away from home may range from 35 to 150 days, with the average time anticipated for a newly elected officer at approximately 50 days per year.
  • If a Trustee misses six consecutive Board meetings, this will be reported to the House and the office will be considered vacant.
  • Board positions include honoraria and per diem compensation, expense reimbursement, and AMA-paid premiums for term life insurance. The underlying principle in setting Board compensation levels is to reimburse officers and trustees for time spent on AMA business with the general result of neither profit nor loss to them.

Young physicians who are devoting large amounts of time to practice development must reflect seriously on whether they have enough time available to fulfill the duties of a prospective elected position. Family and collegial support is also essential, as the duties of the various offices often occur on weekends or during time normally spent at home or in the office.

Elections

  • Each candidate for the Board of Trustees must be nominated by a member of the House of Delegates.
  • Trustee elections are held at the Annual Meeting.
  • An election manual is produced prior to the Annual Meeting, which contains information on all candidates for the Board of Trustees. Candidates and their sponsoring societies prepare text and submit copy for publication. It also is suggested that information concerning sponsoring and endorsing societies be included. Also suggested for inclusion is information from the candidate as to relevant biographical information, and, if desired, a personal statement.
  • Two-minute nominating speeches for trustees are presented during the Sunday opening session of the AMA House of Delegates Annual Meeting. Also, Trustees may avail themselves of opportunities to address the various Sections during the Annual Meeting.