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Is the resolution process the best way to ensure that MMA addresses the issues that are most important to Minnesota’s physicians and their patients? If not, is there a better way to gather needed member input?

The attendance numbers for the MMA House of Delegates have steadily been going down over the last 10 years. Do you believe this is because the House of Delegates structure is outdated or is it just a fact that fewer members want to go to meetings today?

I think the listening sessions will help. I think if done right where everyone is heard it will feel as though more are involved. The resolution process has become bogged down in process, not product.

I think there is truth in both of these statements. The House of Delegates requires you to leave your practice and your home for a number of days. It is expensive to attend. It can be very intimidating with its many arcane rules and structures. And, people and the times have changed. We are all overcommitted. We communicate instantly with our colleagues every day. Waiting to talk to them once a year seems almost an afterthought. And it is a shame. I love the collegiality of the House of Delegates. I really enjoy the repartee. And I am always impressed by the collective intellect and judgment of the House. Together we are able to leverage the best efforts of individuals for excellence of thought, wisdom, charity and character.

How should TCMS help members weigh in on this governance discussion? Open, frank discussions, small trials of these changes with feedback to governance staff, and a willingness to try something new.

Benjamin Chaska, M.D.

How do we ensure that we are hearing from members on key advocacy issues when they don’t seem interested in attending the House of Delegates?

You have made the decision to join MMA and TCMS. Why did you make that decision?

We need to go to our membership. I am intrigued by the potential of our new listening sessions. I would like to see us expand this from a passive activity to one that energizes our members and invites them to higher levels of participation.

I have been a member of organized medicine at all levels since I was in medical school. I was first influenced by a general surgeon who took me to a local surgical society house of delegates. After that I started reading the AMA News and was hooked. Here was a place where physicians could come together to discuss, lead and influence the major issues of our time. What would you say to younger physicians who tend not to be joiners as to why they should join MMA/TCMS? What is your “elevator speech” on why to join? Joining MMA/TCMS provides you with many opportunities to meet your colleagues. It is a place where people really care that you are a physician. It helps you to be involved, know what is going on and most importantly a chance to help shape your future. Being an active member of MMA/TCMS makes you better. You learn and grow personally and professionally through your interactions with your colleagues. MetroDoctors

The Journal of the Twin Cities Medical Society

The supporters of MMA’s new governance proposal have argued that it is needed to find better ways to engage more members on the key public policy issues facing physicians today. Critics see it as removing members from the policy decision making. What do you believe? I think it is very important for the voice of medicine to be heard, whatever the venue! I am saddened to see the long and continuing decline of our members’ interest in attending the MMA House of Delegates. My first preference would be to re-energize the House of Delegates by making participation so compelling that our colleagues would compete to attend. We should do that. And, we should continue to look for better ways to engage our colleagues. Today, most MMA members do not participate in making policy decisions. I think that the listening sessions and policy forums provide new and broader forums for input into policy decision making. Many more physicians will be involved than we have seen recently. I think that the proposed Policy Council model is one way for us to seek input from our membership and will provide an opportunity for a much more diverse audience. We have been speaking of this as an either/or proposition. I think there are ways to make this a both/and opportunity. The (Continued on page 16)

May/June 2013


MMA Proposed Governance Changes  

In this issue: Perspectives on MMA Proposed Governance Changes, Health Eating Active Living Resolution Success, Updates from the East & West...

MMA Proposed Governance Changes  

In this issue: Perspectives on MMA Proposed Governance Changes, Health Eating Active Living Resolution Success, Updates from the East & West...