HCMS Delegation to the TMA House of Delegates

Engaged in developing the policies and electing the leaders of organized medicine.


    TMA House Makes Policy

TMA House of Delegates makes policy

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) House of Delegates is the legislative and policy making body for the association. It is made up of over 400 elected members who serve as delegates, alternate delegates or ex officio members.

The TMA House is also responsible for electing the President-elect, members of the Board of Trustees, Speaker and Vice Speaker of the House, members of the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association, and others.

The House meets annually Friday-Saturday mornings during TexMed, TMA’s free educational showcase and expo, which is usually held in May and rotates among the large cities around the state.

Several weeks prior to the annual sessions, TMA posts on the House of Delegates (HOD) page the action reports and resolutions that will be considered during TexMed, informational reports, and the list of candidates running for TMA office.

For more info on what happens when the House meets, please see below. For even more details, refer to the House of Delegates Guide and How the House Functions.


TexMed 2019 - conference
The most recent sessions of the TMA House of Delegates were held during TexMed 2019 on Friday-Saturday, May 17-18 in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole.


HCMS Delegation info and meetings

Serving on the Harris (HCMS) Delegation to the TMA House of Delegates carries with it the responsibility of representing the physicians of Harris County and provides an opportunity to influence the policies of organized medicine. For more, see Responsibilities of a 2019 Delegation Member.

Each year, our delegation holds two local evening business meetings prior to the TMA House annual sessions. All delegation members are expected to attend these meetings and encouraged to participate in the discussions.

We also hold a brief Orientation meeting just before our first business meeting, so our newer delegation members can learn more about their role and the workings of the delegation and House of Delegates.

Local meetings are held at the John P. McGovern Building (The Health Museum), 1515 Hermann Dr, Houston 77004.


Local Meetings - Resolutions, Review Teams, Action Items

First Business meeting
On February 25, a brief Orientation was held so our newer delegation members could become more familiar with the processes. Our Delegation then met to discuss the resolutions submitted by our local members.

The resolutions that were accepted by our delegation were then submitted to TMA. These resolutions are included in the TMA Handbook for Delegates and were considered during the TMA House sessions at TexMed.

Review Teams and Final Business meetings
Our delegation met for a final time on May 8 to prepare for the conference.

Our four local Review Teams considered from the TMA Handbook the action reports (submitted by TMA boards, councils and committees) and resolutions (submitted by other counties, individuals and TMA sections). Each Review Team made a recommendation on each item from the team's assigned section whether our delegation should support, disapprove, recommend amendment or referral, or monitor the discussion at the TMA Reference Committees at TexMed.

Immediately following the Review Team meetings, the Chairs of the four Review Teams presented to our delegation the recommendations. The delegation took into consideration the teams' recommendations and decided how, as a delegation, it wished to respond to each item presented. Our delegation also briefly reviewed the list of candidates running for TMA elected offices.


TMA House of Delegates sessions - TexMed 2019 - Hilton Anatole, Dallas

The initial Handbook action reports and resolutions, info items, candidate profiles and other items for the House sessions are posted on the TMA HOD page. TMA also posted a Supplement and 'Late Items' that include some new and revised reports and resolutions.

On Friday morning, May 17, the Opening Session of the House of Delegates began with announcements, candidate nominating speeches, acceptance of the Handbook as the business of the House, and more. Mid-morning, the House then adjourned for the TMA Reference Committee meetings.

The Friday morning Reference Committee meetings are open hearings where all members are welcome to listen to and provide testimony on the Handbook items. The Reference Committee meetings are where much of the discussion and debate take place. Although the Chairs of the HCMS review teams and the authors of the resolutions take the lead in these discussions and have been appointed to speak for our delegation, other members also may provide testimony, though "speaking as an individual." The Reference Committee meetings generally end by Noon.

Following these open hearings, those members who were appointed by the TMA Speaker of the House to serve on a TMA Reference Committee then entered into closed session to prepare their recommendations and write reports for the House. Unlike 'regular' TMA committees, those members who were appointed to a TMA Reference Committee serve for only that one session. 

Late Friday evening, TMA posted the four Reference Committee Reports on the TMA HOD page, so all members could review the Reference Committee recommendations prior to the Saturday morning Breakfast Caucus meetings.

Early Saturday morning, May 18, at the Breakfast Caucus meetings, the Harris Caucus (HCMS Delegation) considered the Reference Committee Reports to determine whether our delegation should approve, advise amendment or referral, or disapprove the recommendations on each item of business. We also discussed the candidates running for TMA office.

Following the Saturday morning Breakfast Caucus, members reconvened for the Regular Business Session of the House of Delegates. The House voted on the Reference Committee recommendations and held elections for TMA officers.

On that final day of the session, the House adjourned early afternoon.


Past TMA session

At TexMed 2018, several HCMS members were elected or re-elected to TMA office. Our delegation also put forward several resolutions. For all House actions, see TMA's Summary of HOD Actions-TexMed2018.


Current TMA and AMA Policy

To view existing TMA policy, please see the TMA Current Policies Index

To view existing AMA policy, go to the AMA Policyfinder.

The TMA Audit Trail Library provides a compilation of audit trails of actions taken by the House going back to 2007.

For TMA's resolution process and FAQs.

For the TMA Board of Councilors current opinions.

For the AMA Code of Medical Ethics.


If you have questions, would like more info, or have an interest in the Delegation, please contact HCMS Delegation staff at 713-524-4267: Alison Rutland, ext. 219, or Doug Abel, ext. 328.