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National Medical Association Councils and Committees


The following classes of Committees are hereby provided:

  • A. Standing Committees, designated as Councils
  • B. Reference Committees
  • C. Special Committees

The Members of the Councils shall be named by the President, subject to the approval of the House of Delegates. The Reference Committees shall be appointed by the Speaker as provided in the By-laws. The Special Committees shall be appointed by the Speaker, unless otherwise ordered by the House.


Any Active Member of the Association is eligible to serve on a Council or a Special Committee. Membership on Reference Committees is restricted to Delegates. Membership on the Judicial Council is restricted to Active Members who hold no other office in the organization, at any level, and who are not Members of the House of Delegates. In case of vacancies occurring during the interval between Annual Conventions, the Officers or body which made the original nomination shall appoint an eligible Member to fill the vacancy until the next Convention. Membership on Councils and Committees for any individual Member or Delegate should not exceed two (2) appointments except for appointments to an Ad Hoc Committee or a Task Force.


Constitutionally (and by By-laws) those Councils and Committees that function during the interval between Conventions shall report to the Board of Trustees at its interval meetings if there is need for implementation of its findings as stipulated
Special Committees appointed by the House of Delegates will report directly back to the House during its next regular session or will report at a special call meeting for that stipulated purpose after ten (10) days due notice has been given.


The following are the Standing Committees or Councils of the Association and their duties:

A. The Judicial Council: The judicial power of the Association shall be vested in the Judicial Council, whose decisions shall be final, either ab initio or upon reconsideration of a decision based on an appeal for cause. An appeal for reconsideration may be filed with the Council by the aggrieved, by a Member of the Council, or by majority vote of the Board of Trustees. The Members of the Judicial Council shall be present for all sessions of the House of Delegates and sit in an identified section within the House. The Judicial Council shall have original jurisdiction in:

  1. All questions involving membership in the Association and the obligations, rights and privileges of membership;
  2. All controversies arising under this Constitution and these By-laws and under the Principles of Medical Ethics to which the National Medical Association is a party; and
  3. Controversies:
    1. Between two (2) or more State Societies or their Members.
    2. Between a State Society and a Local Society or societies of another association or associations, or their members.
  4. The Judicial Council shall have appellate jurisdiction in questions of legal procedure but not a fact in all cases that arise:
    1. Between a State Society and one (1) or more of its Local Societies;
    2. Between Local Societies of the same State Societies;
    3. Between a Member or Members and the Local Society or the State Society to which said Member or Members belong; and
    4. Between Members of different Local Societies of the same State Societies.

The period of time within appeals to the Judicial Council may be taken shall be limited to six (6) months following the date of decision by the constituted authority of the State Society or the date of decision by the Judicial Council.

B. The Council on Educational Affairs

The functions of the Council on Educational Affairs shall be:

  1. To secure adequate performance by and cooperation between Sections and to stimulate interest in the development of their scientific programs;
  2. To pass on questions of policy relating to scientific work and to investigate and report on scientific questions, either on its own initiative or when such questions are referred to it by the House of Delegates;
  3. To submit recommendations to the House of Delegates concerning applications for new Sections or discontinuing or reorganizing existing Sections; and
  4. To prepare the programs for the General Meetings of the Scientific Assembly, with the collaboration of the Executive Director and the Local Committee on Arrangements, and with the collaboration of the Section officers, in combining and scheduling the Section programs.

C. Past Presidents Council: The Council is composed of the Past Presidents of the National Medical Association. The function is to provide the organization with the historic expertise resulting from the knowledge and wisdom of the Past Presidents of the National Medical Association. The Council is to convene annually at the Convention and to present resolutions on the state of the organization and matters pertaining to public health and medical care to the House of Delegates. The functions of the Past Presidents Council shall also include the procedures involved in the selection of the Distinguished Service Award and Achievement Award; and the procedures involved in the selection of the Practitioner of the Year Award and Local Society of the Year Awards.

D. The Council on Medical Legislation: The functions of this Council shall be:

  1. To coordinate policy questions between the Board of Trustees and other components of the Association in developing appropriate thrusts for the organization in legislative matters.
  2. To initiate and prepare the National Medical Association position papers and resolutions on Legislative and regulatory matters for approval by the Board of Trustees and/or the House of Delegates.
  3. To prepare the National Medical Association position papers and resolutions on legislative and regulatory matters and to otherwise assist the Officers, Board of Trustees, House of Delegates and Members of the National Medical Association upon request.
  4. To assist in the preparation of testimony of legislative matters to be given by its officers.
  5. To coordinate position papers and resolutions with the Scientific Council, Sections, and Local Societies.
  6. To suggest, facilitate and collate the National Medical Association position papers and resolutions of the House of Delegates.
  7. To utilize internal and external consultants.
  8. To assist other Committee Councils as appropriate.
  9. To monitor and follow the results and effectiveness of its past activities.

E. The Council on Concerns of Women Physicians: The functions of the Council will be as follows:

  1. To ensure that the National Medical Association’s policy positions and programs at all levels (national, regional, state and local) reflect the interest and concerns of women physicians of African descent and that they result from meaningful participation of women in policy development and program implementation.
  2. Advocate for the elimination of gender and racial disparity in hiring practices, salaries, training programs, research opportunities and career advancement.
  3. Focus efforts on increasing the numbers of, and mentoring to, women of African descent entering medical school and postgraduate training.
  4. Participate in research activities on topics that concern, or disproportionately affect women physicians of African descent.
  5. Establish links with other organizations dedicated to the advancement of professional women.
  6. Provide support for women in leadership positions within the National Medical Association and continue to honor women of African descent who have excelled in the areas of medicine, community service, humanitarian works and service to the NMA.

F. Council on Maternal and Child Health: The functions of the Council shall be:

  1. To seek means to improve care of the obstetrical patient and her newborn;
  2. To provide means for physicians and other health care providers interested in maternal and child health and the special health care needs of adolescents, and to investigate mutual problems and share ideas;
  3. To work in close cooperation with national and state agencies and medical specialty organizations with a national and international focus.

G. Council on Clinical Practice: The functions of the Council shall be:

  1. To keep abreast of national and local regulations regarding clinical practice.
  2. Prepare position papers regarding implementation of regulations for approval by the House of Delegates/Board of Trustees.
  3. Prepare scientific programs in conjunction with the Council on Educational Affairs, for physicians to improve their chart documentation and clinical practice.
  4. To review, on a case-by-case basis, physicians who feel that they have been injured unfairly by the peer review process.

H. Council on International Affairs: The functions of the Council shall be:

  1. To establish linkages between organizations of health care providers of African descent worldwide;
  2. To provide, when and wherever possible, physical, technical and intellectual resources to international physicians of African descent and their communities;
  3. To implement, or assist in the implementation of, pertinent items and resolutions concerning international affairs.

    The following are the Reference Committees of the Association and their duties:

    A. The Committee on Credentials and Rules and Order of Business, to which shall be referred all questions regarding the registration and the credentials of Delegates and all matters governing the actions, methods or procedure and order of business of the House of Delegates.

    B. The Committee on Amendments to the Constitution and By-laws, to which shall be referred all proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-laws. The committee will review all House of Delegates actions taken at the most recent meeting for corrections and clarifications of the Constitution and By-laws. The members of the Judicial Council shall be ex-officio members of this Committee.

    C. The Committee on Administrative and Financial Affairs which gives policy and guidance to the House of Delegates on administrative and financial affairs; and assures that resources are available by coordination with the Finance and Resource Development Committee of the Board of Trustees for programs and functions approved by the House of Delegates.

    D. The Committee on Medical Economics to which will be referred all matters pertaining to the economics of the health care delivery system such as Medicare, Medicaid, managed health care, third party payors, etc.

    E. The Committee on Medical Education to which will be referred all matters pertaining to the education of physicians and allied health providers.

    F. A Committee on Public Health and Consumer Affairs, to which shall be referred all matters relating to hygiene and public health.

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