The California Medical Association (CMA) is the largest, most influential medical organization in California, and an aggressive advocate for doctors and patients. CMA relies on the involvement of its members to communicate the physician vision of medical care to the public, to lawmakers, and to the regulators who determine how medicine is practiced. CMA policy is set by members and is voted on by physician representatives, who are elected to serve in the House of Delegates or on the Board of Trustees.
There are many ways that you can get involved:
Develop CMA Policy
Submitting resolutions to our policy-making body, the House of Delegates (HOD), is the most direct way for members to influence CMA’s advocacy agenda. The delegates meet once a year to establish CMA policies on key issues that affect the practice of medicine, from medical ethics to critical matters of public health. Each year the HOD debates and takes action on more than 100 resolutions, each of them authored by members like you. See CMA’s Resolution Submission Rules and Guidelines for detailed information.
Any CMA member may present testimony (i.e., speak for or against a resolution or recommendation) at reference committee hearings and may attend the meetings of the full House of Delegates as an observer. Members may also submit written testimony online in the House of Delegates section of the CMA website.
Serve on a Council or Committee
CMA also depends on its members to contribute their expertise in areas such as medical ethics, workers’ compensation, or professional licensure, for example. If you have experience in a particular field, you may want to serve on one of CMA’s councils or committees.
Champion Community Health
The CMA Foundation champions community health through partnerships between physicians and community leaders. The foundation relies on a variety of local and nationally recognized programs, projects, and small grants to provide leadership and training opportunities for physicians, and toolkits and resources to educate and promote disease prevention.
Improve Quality of Care
CMA members are eligible to serve as surveyors, committee members, and educators for the Institute for Medical Quality’s accreditation programs. This is a wonderful opportunity to directly improve quality of care by interacting with colleagues throughout the state. Opportunities are available in the ambulatory care review program, CME accreditation program, correctional health program, and hospital review program.
Personal contact with elected representatives can affect how votes are cast in Sacramento and in Washington. By becoming a legislative key contact, you will receive action alerts when important issues arise. Key contacts also build relationships and communicate with elected officials to ensure lawmakers’ decisions are guided by medical experts.
The California Medical Political Action Committee (CALPAC) helps physicians get involved in the state legislature and in Congress where public policy decisions are made. CALPAC supports candidates and legislators who understand and embrace medicine’s agenda. As government and the insurance industry continue their quest to control health care, your clinical autonomy is in great jeopardy. Join CALPAC today and join the fight to keep medical decisions where they belong: in your well-trained hands.
Get Media Training
Local and national news outlets, both print and broadcast, rely on medical experts to comment on breaking stories. Media Ambassadors are trained to speak to the media on a variety of health care issues, and play a critical role in making sure that physicians have a strong and effective voice in the media on all issues pertaining to health care. For more information, contact CMA’s member help center at (800) 786-4CMA (4262).
The number one reason doctors join CMA and their local medical societies is because another member asked them to join. Members can help strengthen our association by participating in CMA’s Membership Rewards program, which rewards physicians who bring in new members. CMA members who sign up three to four new regular-active members, will get a 50 percent discount on their dues the following year. Recruit five or more and get free membership for the following year. With increased membership, CMA becomes a more powerful force in the legislature, the courts, the media, or anywhere there’s a fight to protect your profession and patients. For more information, contact CMA’s member help center at (800) 786-4CMA (4262).
Join the California Medical Association Alliance
The California Medical Association Alliance (CMAA) is a volunteer organization that represents and supports medical families in California. CMAA supports all stages of the medical profession from residency to retirement, and members include physicians and their spouses, partners, and friends. CMAA offers legislative advocacy support for physician issues and supports community health initiatives targeting children and families. Join the Alliance and enjoy membership benefits such as leadership training, networking opportunities, service opportunities, life-long friendships, and support for the medical family.