Guidelines for admission of specialty societies to the HOD


Specialty societies applying for representation must be in compliance of the requirements for admission to the AMA House of Delegates (AMA Policy 600.020).

Compliance will be the judgment of the Specialty Service Society Governing Council that a specialty society has met the general criteria to be admitted to or seated in the AMA House of Delegates (HOD).

Download a sample application letter (DOC, members only) to the Specialty and Service Society.

Criteria for applying to the Specialty and Service Society

To assist the Governing Council in determining whether a specialty society should be admitted to the HOD, the following criteria (as set forth in AMA Policy 600.020) shall be used:

  • The organization must not be in conflict with the constitution and bylaws of the American Medical Association by discriminating in membership on the basis of sex, color, creed, religion, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or age, or for any other reason unrelated to character or competence.
  • The organization must have a voluntary membership and must report as members only those who are current in payment of dues, have full voting privileges and are eligible to hold office.
  • The organization must be active within its field of medicine and hold at least one meeting of its members per year.
  • The organization must be national in scope. It must not restrict its membership geographically and must have members from a majority of the states.
  • The organization must submit a resolution or other official statement to show that the request is approved by the governing body of the organization.
  • If international, the organization must have a U.S. branch or chapter, and this chapter must be reviewed in terms of all of the above guidelines.
  • The organization must represent a field of medicine that has recognized scientific validity; not have board certification as its primary focus, and not require membership in the specialty organization as a requisite for board certification.
  • A Specialty and Service Society applicant society must meet 50% of the current AMA membership requirement for delegate status in the AMA HOD in order to be granted or to maintain representation in the specialty service society. The society must be able to demonstrate active recruitment for AMA membership to meet the HOD requirement for representation.
  • The organization must be established and stable; therefore, it must have been in existence for at least 5 years prior to submitting its application to the AMA HOD.
  • To be eligible for membership status, physicians should comprise the majority of the voting membership of the organization.