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AMA Section Council on Preventive Medicine (SCPM) Modus Operandi
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Section Council on Preventive Medicine

AMA Section Council on Preventive Medicine (SCPM)



As with all section councils of AMA, SCPM is governed by official Rules and Operating Procedures*, copy attached. These, in turn, provide for development of more nimble and explicit rules of operation, contained in this Modus Operandi document.


The official role of the SCPM, as with other section councils of AMA, is to provide a caucus for the specialties in related areas, in this case those areas committed to advancement of one or more of the specialty areas of preventive medicine. The SCPM is dedicated to help AMA establish, promote, and implement strengthened preventive medicine policies, practices, and activities, and to encourage and facilitate cooperation among the SCPM’s component organizations and other related organizations and individuals interested in and committed to the objectives of preventive medicine.

Official Member status is limited to those preventive medicine specialty societies with delegate status in the House of Delegates. However, the accomplishment of the mission is best served by encouraging any specialty group or individual AMA member to attend and actively participate in deliberations and activities of the SCPM.


  1. Improve the exchange of information and development of strategies, professional positions, and approaches in the definition and address of issues of importance to the field of preventive medicine in a manner that will assure an appropriate and timely action on such matters.
  2. Improve the cooperation among the specialty organizations within the field of preventive medicine as well as government, academic, industry, and private medical care organizations as a way of facilitating the accomplishment of Goal 1 above.
  3. Maintain a continuing interaction with the members of the AMA House of Delegates, the Board of Trustees, and Staff on behalf of issues having preventive medicine importance.


The Chair of the Section Council is usually the delegate of the appropriate Full Member specialty society, whose turn is determined by an alphabetical rotation (see Articles 2.6 and 4.3.3 in the Rules and Operating Procedures). The term of the Chair is two years, to commence on the first of the month following the annual (June) meeting of the AMA. The Vice-chair is usually the delegate of the next organization in the rotation and assumes the office of the Chair at the end of the Chair’s term. The next organization in the rotation must notify the current Chair and ACPM staff prior to the annual AMA meeting of its selection for Vice-chair. Any representative other than the delegate chosen by the specialty society to serve as Vice-chair will require approval from a two-thirds vote of the SCPM membership.


SCPM will accomplish these ends by conducting formal business in face-to-face meetings at the annual and interim meetings of AMA. The SCPM listserv will be the primary form of communication between such meetings to prepare for upcoming meetings (including the preparation and sharing of resolutions) and follow through on prior meeting commitments and unresolved issues. Ad hoc meetings and conference calls may also be used to conduct business on key issues, as necessary.


The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) will provide staff support for the activities of the SCPM. ACPM staff will maintain the Membership File (roster of voting and non-voting SCPM members, their representatives, and staff with full contact information); maintain and moderate the listserv; assist the Chair in preparing and distributing the agenda and minutes for each meeting; secure meeting space and other logistical arrangements; assist the Chair in his/her liaison activities with AMA and other specialty societies; and assist the Chair with other action steps as appropriate. The costs of this staff support shall be offset, to some degree, by the collection of annual dues from SCPM members. The rate structure for these dues will be reviewed annually by the Chair in conjunction with ACPM staff. Proposed changes to the rate structure will be presented to the SCPM by the Chair and must be approved by a simple majority vote of the full Council. The costs for food and beverage functions at each SCPM meeting will be paid by the specialty society represented by the current Chair.


  • At least two months prior to the House of Delegates meeting, the Chair will:
  • Send a letter to all medical specialty societies encouraging them to work with the SCPM on the development of any resolutions pertinent to preventive medicine
  • Put out a call via the SCPM listserv for development and circulation of proposed resolutions from any of the members to all members for possible pre-meeting coordination and co-sponsorship
  • Three weeks prior to the House of Delegates meeting, each SCPM member organization will:
  • Submit to ACPM staff a list of their delegate, alternate delegate, and representatives on the Section Council, who will be attending the AMA House of Delegates meeting, and their preferences for Reference Committee assignments
  • Participate via the SCPM listserv in joint resolution development and discussion of other resolutions before the House of Delegates of relevance to preventive medicine
  • Two weeks prior to the House of Delegates meeting, the Chair will:
  • Prepare and distribute the agenda(s) to all attendees
  • Distribute minutes for prior notice and adoption
  • Assign one or two SCPM members to each of the reference committees
  • Invite AMA senior staff, candidates for AMA office, representatives from federal agencies, leaders from other specialty societies, and other guests
  • Arrange special presentations as indicated by current events and resolutions pending (usually at the first, Saturday evening meeting)


Formal meetings of the SCPM will be held in accordance with the annual and interim meetings of AMA House of Delegates. Meetings will be held at a place (generally the official meetings hotel for the HOD) and a time which permits ready attendance for delegates without conflict with other activities likely to be of pressing importance for delegate attendance. Typically, four meetings of the SCPM will be held at each annual meeting, beginning on the Saturday prior to the opening session of the House of Delegates and concluding on the following Tuesday. Each meeting will normally last 90 minutes, with a target starting time of 4:30 PM, pending space availability (see PROTOTYPE SCHEDULE below).

  • Meetings will start on time and not exceed the planned adjournment time.
  • Reviewing resolutions will be given priority over all other business.
  • As a courtesy to visiting speakers (e.g., BOT members, candidates for office, etc.), SCPM business will be discontinued immediately upon their arrival with resumption upon their departure. As a further courtesy to visiting speakers, questions and discussion will be kept to a minimum.
  • The primary role of the SCPM Chair is to conduct the meeting so as to ensure a smooth, efficient, and timely flow of business. In general, the Chair’s input to discussion should be abbreviated, if at all.
  • When members of the SCPM are given the floor by the Chair, remarks will be kept brief and directly to the issue at hand.
  • No member of SCPM will have the floor until recognized by the Chair.
  • Only resolutions/reports etc. will be discussed that have relevance to preventive medicine. Others that are not directly relevant to preventive medicine but that hold interest for the Section Council can be discussed after all other business has been exhausted.
  • Visiting members must be identified at the outset of the meeting. All attendees are encouraged to participate in lively debate. However, only registered voting members of the SCPM may vote in formal actions of the Council. Name placards will be used to identify voting members.


The chair will appoint one (or two) members to represent the Council at each of the Reference Committees.

These members will review all resolutions before their assigned committee and present matters of substance and concern to preventive medicine at the formal SCPM meetings in advance of the Reference Committee to which they are assigned. The assigned members should be prepared to recommend positions and as needed matters of relevant substantive concern or needed change.

SCPM will review and agree to a position for the Council. If there is no position or an inability to come to agreement, the liaison may present his own professional views, but state that the SCPM does not have a position, or "but not speaking on behalf of the SCPM."

The liaison will attend the Reference Committee as the representative of the Section Council, including any other roles he/she may occupy. As appropriate, the liaison will represent positions or concerns of the SCPM to the Reference Committee.

At the next meeting of the SCPM, the liaison will report back upon the deliberations of the assigned Reference Committee, particularly on matters of official position of the SCPM and receive follow-through guidance from the SCPM. The SCPM may provide direction for testimony on the House Floor for the liaison or other assigned member.*


The SCPM 'model agenda' for the annual and interim meetings will be as follows:

Day 1 (Saturday)

4:30-6:00 PM
Registration of delegates/voting members

Introductions of staff and guests

Agreement on agenda

Adoption of minutes of prior meeting(s)

Discuss Sunday-Monday Reference Committee resolutions/reports of preventive medicine relevance in the order consistent with the Reference Committee schedule.

Interruptions for guest speakers as required

Other business


Day 2 (Sunday)

4:30-6:00 PM
Discuss Monday Reference Committee resolutions

Discuss Sunday Reference Committee deliberations

Other business


Day 3 (Monday)

4:30-6:00 PM
Discuss Monday Reference Committee deliberations

Other business


Day 4 (Tuesday)
4:30-6:00 PM
Discuss Reference Committee Summary Reports.

Discuss any other House actions as required.

Candidate review

Other business

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