Residents & Fellows

Submitting a resolution & how policy is developed

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Resolution submission

The deadline has closed to submit a resolution for consideration at the 2019 RFS Interim Meeting.

Contribute to the policymaking process

One of the unique benefits of membership in the AMA Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) is the chance to participate in the policymaking process. Any RFS member can submit a resolution to be considered at the RFS semiannual meetings. The RFS reference committee is charged with studying these submissions in preparation for the meetings.

Policies set at the RFS meetings help set the agenda for the section, giving guidance on projects to pursue, products to develop and issues to influence.

What is a resolution?

A resolution is a proposal that asks the RFS to take a position and/or an action. A resolution consists of at least 1 directive ("resolved clause") accompanied by supporting statements or facts ("whereas clauses"). Once a resolution is submitted, it is debated at the RFS meeting. If adopted at the meeting, the resolution becomes RFS policy.

Before submitting a proposal, members should ask themselves:

  • Does the proposal deal with resident or fellow issues?
  • Is the proposed matter feasible? (Can it be done?)
  • Is it advisable? (Should it be done?)
  • Is it efficient? (What is the cost-benefit ratio?)
  • Has a similar report or resolution been presented and rejected?If so, why?
  • Is it consistent with current AMA policy?

What a resolution should include

  • Title: Clearly state the issue being addressed
  • Author(s):  List the primary author or sponsoring society first followed by co-authors or co-sponsors
  • Whereas clauses
  • Resolved clauses
  • References
  • Relevant RFS & AMA policy

Resolution Template (DOCX)

Sample Resolution (DOCX)

Writing whereas clauses for a resolution

  • Provide information on why the resolution should be considered, describe the problem that the resolved clauses intended to address and explain or support how the resolved clauses will correct the problem
  • Should be 1 sentence long and flow in a logical order
  • Include relevant statistics, analyses, surveys and commentaries, and cite references for and against the resolution. Use this information to help defend the resolution during debate at the RFS meeting
  • Cite statements of fact with the appropriate reference

Writing resolved clauses for a resolution

  • Make 1 sentence long with the language understood independently of whereas clauses
  • Calls on the RFS to take a specific action or position and should begin as: "RESOLVED, That our RFS…"
  • If adopted at the meeting, the RFS resolution becomes RFS policy
  • Resolutions seeking both the RFS and the AMA to take action need a separate resolved clause for each directive

References in a resolution

All resolutions must cite pertinent references and identify existing relevant RFS and AMA policy on the issue. If policy does not exist, please notate within the reference section.

To research RFS and AMA policy, review both the RFS Digest of Actions and the AMA PolicyFinder.

Submitting resolutions

After completing the resolution, please submit it for consideration to RFS staff at [email protected]. Resolutions must be submitted by the deadline, typically six weeks prior to the meeting.

Prior to the assembly meeting make sure to:

  • Prepare a brief statement to introduce your resolution at the meeting
  • Prepare to defend your resolution at the meeting

Late & emergency resolution process

A resolution is considered late if it is submitted after the resolution deadline but 7 days prior to the meeting being called to order. A resolution is considered an emergency if it is submitted within 7 days of the meeting or after the meeting has been called to order.

The rules committee makes a recommendation as to whether the late or emergency resolution should be considered at the meeting. Voting members accept or reject this recommendation.

Late resolutions approved for consideration at the meeting are reviewed by the reference committee. However, emergency resolutions are debated at the meeting without being reviewed by the reference committee. For more information, contact RFS at [email protected] or see the RFS Internal Operating Procedure (IOP) (PDF).

Reference committee role in reviewing resolutions & developing policy

The RFS reference committee reviews all submitted policy proposals. The reference committee:

  • Hears testimony on resolutions and reports during the reference committee hearings
  • Deliberates as a group in a closed session and prepares a report summarizing testimony and makes the recommendations of action on resolutions and reports which include to:
    • Adopt
    • Not adopt
    • Refer for further study and report back at a later date
    • Refer to the Governing Council to make a decision and determine the appropriate action
  • Responds to questions and explains the rationale behind the recommendations in the report

Policy proposals are submitted before each of the semiannual RFS meetings as either reports or resolutions.  Testimony is heard on both reports and resolutions during the meeting.  The actions taken at the meeting on the reports and resolutions establish RFS policy.

RFS meeting resources

Reference committees hearings at the RFS meetings

Reference committee hearings are open to all resident physicians, guests, interested outsiders and the press. On day 1 of the meeting, the reference committee hears testimony on the merits of resolutions and reports.  

Reports are typically assigned by the governing council to a standing committee.

Reference committees reports

On day 2 of the meeting, the reference committee reports are distributed and include the committee’s recommendations regarding each resolution and report.

A consent calendar, which includes a list of all resolutions and reports reviewed by the each committee, is presented at the start of the report.  Voting members may move to extract any resolution or report to amend or alter the committee’s recommendation. Resolutions and reports not extracted are voted on collectively. All extracted items are heard on an individual basis.