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Medical Student Section (MSS) Guide to Writing a Resolution

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AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) members may submit resolutions on important topics in medicine that existing AMA policy and MSS policy (PDF) do not address.

Students who wish to have the MSS or AMA act on existing policies should submit a MSS Governing Council Action Item Request, to ask the leadership of the MSS to consider a policy change.

Comment on Resolutions

Access, review, and comment or “testify” on resolutions in advance of the assembly through the Virtual Reference Committee.

Please sign all comments with your full name. If you list your position or school, note you are doing so in an individual capacity. Only list your local section, region or state if you have approval to speak on behalf of that group.

The 2017 Annual Meeting Virtual Reference Committee opens April 28 and closes May 15 at noon PST.

Resolution Writing Guide

Effective policy is focused, flexible and forward-looking. Learn what makes a strong resolution by reviewing the MSS Resolution Guide (PDF) and MSS Resolution Writing Presentation (PPTX) prepared by your Section Delegate.

Familiarize yourself with the parliamentary procedure (PDF) the MSS uses during its assembly meetings. Please also read the Resolution Alternatives (PDF) to broaden your understanding of other ways to further MSS policy.

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 MSS delegate, Sarah Mae Smith, at [email protected].

Resolution Template

Resolutions must be submitted on the MSS resolution template (DOC). Any resolutions received that do not follow this template will be returned to their author and not accepted until properly formatted.

The MSS Policy Analyst has created a resolution formatting guide (DOCX) to help new authors understand proper formatting protocol.

Resolution Checklist

The MSS Resolution Checklist (PDF) outlines a series of tasks, including seeking peer review, which resolution authors must complete prior to submission of their resolutions.

Before submitting a resolution, authors must:

  • Send drafts of their resolutions and the draft resolution checklist to the MSS Delegate and MSS Alternate Delegate before the final resolution deadline.
  • Contact MSS school, state or region leaders about their resolutions.
  • If the resolution will eventually be forwarded to the AMA House of Delegates (i.e., if it asks the AMA as a whole, not just the MSS to do something), contact state representation in the House of Delegates as well as the physicians who represent relevant medical specialty societies.

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:

  • Pursuing innovative mechanisms to improve medical student wellness and mitigate burnout
  • Cultivating the delivery of equitable health care to diverse patient populations in a dynamic environment, including via promotion of diversity within the medical profession
  • Addressing emergent public health threats with impactful and evidence-based solutions

2017 Annual Meeting Resolution Deadlines

  • March 20: Deadline to post ideas on MSS Open Forum; deadline for authors to share ideas with Region Delegation Chair
  • April 3: Draft resolutions and checklists due to MSS Delegate
  • April 13: Preliminary scoring and comments released to authors, authors due to reach out to specialty societies (required for external resolutions)
  • April 20: Final resolutions and checklists due to MSS Delegate; authors to respond via email to comments by primary reviewers
    • Note: Any resolution submitted after this deadline will be deemed “late” and require a 2/3 vote of the assembly in order to be debatable on the floor
  • April 28: Virtual Reference Committee (VRC) opens
  • May 15: Virtual Reference Committee (VRC) closes
  • June 2: Reference Committee Report released
  • June 8-10: 2017 National Medical Student Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

All deadlines expire at 11:59 p.m. PST, except for the VRC, which opens and closes at noon PST.

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