In light of concerns regarding the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on physicians and their patients, the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to cancel the face-to-face meeting of the 2020 House of Delegates which was to take place this October in Hershey. Plans for alternative meeting formats are currently under development.

Additional information, including focused agenda topics, will be provided as it becomes available.


Saturday Q&A

What is the schedule of events for Saturday?

Here is the DRAFT schedule. Delegates will be provided with a finalized schedule closer to the meeting date.

What is a caucus? Why should I plan to attend my district or section’s caucus on Saturday morning?

A caucus is a group of people from the same district or special section. On Saturday morning, they get together to discuss the submitted resolutions.

The caucuses include:

  • Philadelphia County (District 1)
  • Southeastern/Southcentral Counties (Districts 2 and 5): Includes Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Fulton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, and York Counties
  • Rural Counties (Districts 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12): Includes Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, and Wyoming Counties
  • Allegheny County (District 13)
  • Early Career Physicians
  • Medical Students/Residents and Fellows
  • Specialties

Attending your caucus meeting is a good way to make sure your voice is heard among your peers from the same region, career stage, etc. on issues important to you.

What happens during Saturday’s House of Delegates session?

During the opening session of the House of Delegates on Saturday, many reports are given. Nominations for various offices may be made from the floor, elections are announced, addresses and remarks are made by members of PAMED’s leadership, candidate speeches are given, and the times and process for voting are announced. (Note: Elections will be done through the e-Voting system for any contested elections; all delegates will receive detailed instructions on how and when to vote). Candidate information will be posted on PAMED’s website and in the mobile app, which will be available this fall.

Here is some additional information regarding leadership nominations and elections:

  • Nominees for officers and trustees, where known, will be published in the Official Call.
  • Where candidates for offices are unopposed, except for the office of vice president, there will be no nominating speeches at the HOD.
  • Nominations for all offices to be elected by the House may be made by seated delegates from the floor or published in the Official Call upon recommendation of the respective section or district.
  • To be accepted by the House, nominees should possess the prescribed qualifications for the office for which they are nominated.
  • Nominations for district trustees may be made from the floor of the HOD but only by seated delegates from within the district of the expiring term.
  • Nominations for a trustee from the specialties organized in Pennsylvania and recognized by PAMED and the American Board of Medical Specialties shall be made by the seated delegates from those specialties in the House of Delegates. Nominees for specialty trustee positions are required to have a letter of endorsement from their specialty organization.

What is a reference committee and why should I attend?

Reference committees are groups of physician members who listen to delegate testimony on the resolutions assigned to their committee. After hearing all testimony, they prepare a report of their recommendations indicating whether a resolution should be adopted, not adopted, adopted as amended, or referred for study to be considered and voted on by the House of Delegates on Sunday morning.

Attending reference committee hearings is a good way to make sure your voice is heard on issues important to you. The reference committees consider delegate testimony they hear during the reference committee hearings as they are developing their report for consideration and action by the House.

Reference Committees:

  • Reference Committee A – Bylaws
  • Reference Committee B – Education, Science, and Public Health
  • Reference Committee C – Reimbursement and Managed Care
  • Reference Committee D – Tort Reform, Mcare Fund, Other Legislation/Regulation
  • Reference Committee E – Membership, Leadership, Subsidiaries

What preparation should I do before I attend a reference committee hearing?

It is important that all delegates do their homework before arriving at the House of Delegates. Review the Official Reports Book (ORB) when it is published on PAMED’s website in early October and familiarize yourself with reports and resolutions that are important to you. If you plan to speak for or against a resolution, it is helpful to come with facts.

How do I choose which reference committee to go to? Can I go to several reference committees?

Don’t feel as though you must pay attention to everything — it may be overwhelming, especially to first- time delegates. Instead pick one or two reference committees and focus on them.

Though the reference committee hearings take place concurrently on Saturday, you will easily be able to track/see which resolution each reference committee is currently discussing so that you can pop in on a reference committee as the issues important to you are being discussed. There will be a resolution tracker on the app and on the website, and there will be a hard copy chart in each room that is updated by a staff member as each reference committee finishes discussing a resolution and moves on to the next one.

How do I testify at a reference committee?

In each reference committee, there is a “For” and an “Against” microphone. When the reference committee gets to the resolution that you wish to speak on, stand behind the For microphone if you are speaking in support of the resolution or behind the Against microphone if you are speaking in opposition of the resolution.

When the chair of the reference committee recognizes you, you will have two minutes to speak. When speaking, note if you are speaking on your own behalf or on behalf of your district or special section. You can only speak on behalf of your district or section if they voted during your caucus meeting to take a position on an issue as a district or section.

You are permitted to speak more than once, but the reference committee chair will recognize those speaking for the first time before recognizing someone who has already provided testimony.