Advocacy & Health Policy: American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates: A Day in the Life of an ACOG Delegate
ACOG’s delegation to the AMA House of Delegates is one of the largest delegations in the House with 15 ob-gyns. Led by Chair Dr. Carol Brown and Co-Chair Dr. Steven Fleischman, ACOG’s delegation works to ensure that our members' and our patients’ needs are well represented in AMA policy. During the six days in June and six days in November each year when the House meets, our delegation uses each day to its fullest, taking a series of actions to achieve the best results.
We strategize each day before, during, and after the meeting, coordinate and join forces with the 50 other ob-gyns in the House, as well as various allies to achieve good results.
Before the House of Delegates convenes, delegates have an opportunity to submit proposed resolutions on far-ranging health care issues to be considered for adoption as new AMA policy. Hundreds of resolutions can be proposed for an average meeting of the House.
Individual members of our delegation are then assigned to review proposed resolutions that fall into certain categories in terms of concurrence with ACOG policy and importance to ob-gyns and women’s health. We may decide to amend, support, oppose, or take no action on a resolution. We also propose resolutions that we think will improve women’s health with the AMA’s backing.
On a typical day, our delegation will meet at 6:30am to develop and review strategy and deploy our various assignments to win support for our goals. These assignments include testifying before the AMA Reference Committee with jurisdiction over certain resolutions and meeting with other delegations to encourage support and cosponsorship. A number of ACOG delegates serve on reference committees and in other leadership positions. Our days are long, typically going until evening.
An ACOG delegate to the House has likely been in that position for many years, due to the very complex nature of the proceedings and the value of relationships built over the years.
Being a delegate is a big commitment, but very important to maintaining and ensuring a focus on ob-gyn and women’s health in AMA policy.
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