Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Committee Descriptions

MMS Committee Descriptions

General Information

Standing Committees relate directly to the structure, governance, management, or legislative activity of the Society, with limited openings available in accordance with the MMS bylaws.

Special Committees are established by the House of Delegates to address specific topics/subjects and have unlimited openings available.

Board Committees are established by the House of Delegates to address specific duties which are under the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees.

The Member Interest Network (MIN) provides a way for you to participate in Medical Society activities at the level you choose. Organized around broad topics, the MIN affords the opportunity to network with colleagues and share information in a way that accommodates your schedule. The MIN is open to all MMS members.

Committee appointments are for specific terms, usually three-year renewable commitments. Medical Students and Resident Physicians will be appointed to a one-year term.

Meeting Schedules

All meetings are held in Waltham at MMS headquarters unless otherwise specified. There are resources in place for distance participation including conference calls and online meetings. Many meetings serve refreshments or meals.

Committee Descriptions

Accreditation Review (Special Committee)
Oversees and serves the MMS Recognized Accredited Providers as a statewide resource for hospitals, specialty societies, and health care organizations seeking to offer continuing medical education. Monitors compliance with nationally recognized continuing medical education standards and guidelines to ensure quality education for physicians throughout Massachusetts and its contiguous states. This committee meets 4-6 times a year on Wednesdays from 11:30-1:30 p.m.

Administration and Management (Board Committee) 
Provides oversight to matters related to the Society’s offices and its management, and performs other such responsibilities as shall be delegated by the Board of Trustees. No medical student/resident physician positions available.

Arts, History, Humanism and Culture (MIN Executive Council)
The Arts, History, Humanism & Culture MIN explores the creative side of members interested in a variety of pursuits. This MIN Executive Council meets every three months.

Boston Medical Library Trustees (Board with MMS reps) 
Founded in 1805, the Boston Medical Library (BML) is one of the most significant sources of medical information in the world. The BML and Harvard Medical Library formed an alliance in 1965 and moved into a new building named The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine located at Harvard Medical School. The BML’s mission is to serve the library service needs of practicing physicians and dentists and share the history of medicine. Its priceless historical collection of medical materials and artifacts is an incomparable resource for physicians. The BML became the library for the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1946; the MMS president appoints 14 of the 29 BML Trustees. In addition, MMS members have unlimited access to the collections of the Boston Medical Library as a benefit of membership. The BML Board is working with the MMS leadership to update library services to the MMS. This Board meets alternately between the Countway Library of Medicine at 10 Shattuck St., Boston and the MMS Headquarters in Waltham.  It typically meets four times per year on a weekday from 4:30-6:30. The medical student and resident physician representatives serve a one-year term beginning each October/November.

Bylaws (Standing Committee)
Considers suggested bylaws changes and submits to the House of Delegates proposed amendments to the bylaws. This committee meets approximately one or two times per year, on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) at 7:30 p.m., generally by teleconference.

Communications (Standing Committee)
Recommends priorities and provides counsel to the Society and MMS leadership in matters relating to communicating the Society’s strategic priorities to various audiences, with a special focus on communicating with physicians and the general public. The committee meets quarterly, Thursday nights, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Diversity in Medicine (Special Committee)
Works to promote diversity within the medical profession and heighten awareness of disparities in health care access and treatment. The Committee meets 4 to 6 times a year on weekday evenings.

Environmental & Occupational Health (Special Committee)
Provides advice and counsel to the Society on environmental and occupational health issues, such as health-related environmental exposures in the home, work, and outdoor environments, and the relationship between climate change and health. This committee meets 4-6 times a year in the evening, typically on Wednesdays or Thursdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Ethics, Grievances, & Professional Standards (Standing) 
The Committee on Ethics, Grievances, and Professional Standards is a medical peer review committee that investigates allegations of member unethical conduct through a formal grievance process. Where appropriate, the committee may recommend practice modifications, including the identification of potential areas for improvement. The Society’s Bylaws state that “Members of the Society are subject to grievance review for the following apparent or alleged offenses:

  • (a) Violation of the Code of Medical Ethics of the Massachusetts Medical Society.
  • (b) Violation of the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association.
  • (c) Presenting false certificates or false statements of character or of educational attainments.
  • (d) Engaging in conduct unbecoming a physician.”

The committee is also responsible for providing advice on ethical issues to the Society's leadership and members and assisting the Society in formulating ethical policy. At the House of Delegates' direction, the committee also conducts an Ethics Forum on current ethical issues twice yearly, at each regular meeting of the House.

Please note special circumstances for medical students and resident physicians:

  • One medical student and one resident physician may be appointed to the committee annually for a one-year term.
  • The medical student member’s participation on the committee is limited to ethical policy matters, including the planning and participation in twice-yearly Ethics Forums and publications thereof.
  • The resident physician member on the committee shall not have a vote in cases of grievance matters except when the member under investigation is also a resident physician.
  • The appointment of a medical student to the committee shall be subject to the medical student’s submission of a letter from the dean of his or her medical school, approving that student’s participation on the committee.
  • The appointment of a resident physician to the committee shall be subject to the resident’s submission of a letter from the head of his or her resident training program approving the resident’s participation on the committee.

The medical student and resident physician members of the committee will not be counted toward the quorum requirement; except that when the member under investigation is a resident physician; then the resident physician member shall be counted toward the quorum.

Finance (Board Committee)
Oversees the finances, investments, investment policy, budget, and serves as the yearly audit committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society, working with the Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, and the VP of Finance. This committee meets approximately 13 times per year (including 2 meetings one each in December and April at the site of the MMS House of Delegates meetings and two contingency meetings in October and December), usually on a Wednesday or Thursday from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Geriatric Medicine (Special Committee)
Addresses issues related to geriatric health (including psychosocial issues, disease prevention, health enhancement, education of the health care community), health care policy as it applies to the elderly, and all aspects of long-term care, including palliative care. This committee meets 5 times a year, typically on Wed. at 7:00 p.m. 

Global Health (Special Committee)
Provides a benefit to the members of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the citizens of the Commonwealth by expanding the understanding of global health issues, while at the same time promoting the active participation of members in a variety of global health related projects.  Hosts an annual educational presentation for residents and medical students, as well as promotes global health events across the state. Committee meets 4-5 times per year, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Participation by teleconference is an option.

History (Special Committee) 
Recommends actions and activities to preserve the history of the Society and recognizes its accomplishments. Sponsors an annual medical student essay contest focused on the history of medicine or public health in Massachusetts since the initiation of the MMS in 1781. This committee meets approximately three times a year.

Information Technology (Special Committee)
Meets monthly in the evenings to identify and evaluate major trends in Information Technology that impact medical practice including policy, education, devices, guidelines, regulations, and laws. The committee makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, the House of Delegates, and membership on responses to the trends with the goal of being proactive. The committee also encourages medical information technology development through its Student and Resident Information Technology in Medicine awards program and educational events.

Interspecialty (Standing Committee)
Provides a mechanism for open communication, cooperation, and coordination between and among the medical specialty societies of Massachusetts and their members, and the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS). Additionally, the committee will present recommendations to the MMS regarding medical specialty specific or practice of medicine issues, with the ultimate goal of providing the highest quality of care to the patients within the Commonwealth. This committee meets in June, Sept., Jan., and March. Most meetings held on the next to last Tuesday of the month from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Judicial (Standing Committee)
Interprets MMS Bylaws and Code of Ethics. No medical student/resident physician positions available.

Legislation (Standing Committee/District-Appointed)
Study, take positions and report periodically to the Board of Trustees and to the House of Delegates on pending legislation affecting the public health or the practice of medicine. Initiates legislation at the state level to improve the health of the public and to improve the practice environment in Massachusetts. This committee meets 6 to 7 times a year on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Matters (Special Committee)
Enhances MMS policy, advocacy, and education on LGBT health and professional issues, advocates for better access to care for LGBT patients, educates physicians across the Commonwealth about the unique health care issues facing LGBT patients, creates a relationship with the AMA advisory committee on LGBT issues, increases MMS membership and participation of physicians with an interest in LGBT issues, and provides a dedicated forum for involvement, mentoring, and networking for LGBT physicians and medical students. This committee meets approximately 6-8 times per year.

Maternal & Perinatal Welfare (Special Committee)
Provides advice and counsel on matters relating to maternal and perinatal welfare. Sponsors an annual educational program on maternal and perinatal welfare for physicians and other health care professionals. This committee meets approximately 5 times a year on Mondays, beginning at 7 p.m.

Medical Education (Standing Committee)
To provide counsel and advice to the Society, its leadership and the Board of Trustees and House of Delegates as it relates to medical education across the learning continuum as well as education for other health care professionals; to advance medical knowledge, competence and/or  performance through the development of continuing medical education activities; to explore, propose and develop methodologies to measure the effectiveness of CME on changes in physician competency, performance and/or patient outcomes; to serve as an educational resource to address physicians’ practice gaps; their educational needs; and strategies to overcome barriers of change; to prepare and recommend standards and guidelines for accrediting Massachusetts providers of continuing medical education; to establish policy governing the role of the Society as an ACCME accredited provider and to address other issues affecting medical education as may come before it. This committee meets approximately 4 times a year on Monday afternoons from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Membership (Standing Committee)
The Membership Committee provides oversight to membership development programs and promotional opportunities for the MMS, including recruitment, retention and related outreach activities, while using multiple marketing channels.  Attention is focused on constituencies that will increase the diversity of the membership base, and address new modes of practice and employment models through group enrollment. This committee meets 4-5 times a year.

Men’s Health (Special Committee)
Monitors ongoing and evolving health issues affecting men; promotes awareness of men’s health issues; seeks to improve the overall health of men through education and information for physicians and other healthcare providers, researchers, and the public; and through the MMS, supports Federal and State government organizations to represent and act on men’s health issues. Meets 5 times a year on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Nominations (Standing Committee/District-Appointed)
Provides for the House of Delegates a slate of nominees for each of the officers of the Society and AMA delegates and alternate delegates. This committee meets three times a year.

Nutrition & Physical Activity (Special Committee)
Provides advice and counsel to the Society and its leadership on matters related to nutrition and physical activity, with a particular focus on obesity, weight stigma prevention and food insecurity. This committee typically meets 4-5 times a year, on Thursday evenings in Boston. 

Oral Health (Special Committee)
This committee focuses on increasing public awareness of the relationship and importance of good oral health to good physical health and works to promote prevention and improve oral health literacy to health providers and the public.  Recommends ways to improve access to oral health care.  Committee meets 4 times per year, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  

Preparedness (Special Committee)
This committee works in collaboration with public health agencies and others responsible for disaster management on the development and implementation of response plans for the physician community in order to enhance the health care system’s capacity to prevent, prepare for, detect, mitigate, respond to and recover from the public health consequences of man-made or natural disasters, and other health emergencies and protect the health and safety of patients and communities. This committee meets 4-6 times per year, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Participation by teleconference is an option.

Professional Liability (Standing Committee)
Monitors the professional liability market in Massachusetts, and educates members about developments in professional liability. Committee meets 3-4 times a year, usually on a Monday at 6:00 p.m.

Public Health (Standing Committee)
This committee recommends and leads a public health agenda for the Society to achieve the greatest positive impact on the health and well-being of the public and to reflect the resources, mission and strategic direction of the Society. This committee meets 6 times per year from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Participation by teleconference is an option.

Publications (Standing Committee)
Establishes policy concerning the publishing activities of the Society, including initiation, planning, supervision, and coordination of  NEJM Group as it relates to the dissemination of medical information. Directs the publication and distribution of the New England Journal of Medicine and other publications of the Society. This committee meets quarterly on Wednesday mornings from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Quality of Medical Practice (Standing Committee)
The Quality of Medical Practice is focused on the improvement of the quality of health care provided by physicians, including attention to patient and physician satisfaction/experience and cost effectiveness. The committee serves as consultants to the Board of Trustees and the House of Delegates to define quality of health care, as well as to monitor quality initiatives, create and coordinate activities  to improve and measure the quality of health care and factors affecting the practice environment. This committee meets approximately 4 times a year with additional conference call meetings as needed.

Recognition Awards (Board Committee) 
Responsible for oversight and approval of new and existing MMS recognition awards. Selects awardees for the: MMS Lifetime Achievement Award, Award for Distinguished Service to the Massachusetts Medical Society, Special Award for Excellence in Medical Service. Ratifies awardees for the: Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health; Grant V. Rodkey, M.D. Award for Significant Contributions to Medical Education; Information Technology in Medicine Award; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Health Award; Medical Student History Essay Award; Men’s Health Award; Reducing Health Disparities Award; Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Award; Woman Physician Leadership Award; Women’s Health Award; and Women’s Health Research Award. This committee meets 1-2 times a year in September and January.

Senior Physicians (Special Committee)
Recognizes the many diverse matters that are of concern to senior physicians age 65 and older and explores ways to address these unique issues. It also provides these professionals the opportunity to promote continued participation and personal enrichment. This committee meets 4 or 5 times a year on Wednesdays at lunch-time.

Senior Volunteer Physicians (Special Committee)
Utilizes the experience and skills of senior practicing and/or retired physician member volunteers to fulfill medical care and health education needs of communities and medical schools throughout Massachusetts in agreed upon programs. This committee meets 4 or 5 times a year on Wednesday evenings.

Sponsored Programs (Special Committee)
Reviews potential MMS and NEJM Group directly and jointly provided quality continuing education activities to ensure that they are aligned with the MMS mission and strategic priorities, designed to promote improvements in healthcare and patient wellness, meet the core requirements for certifying activities for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM, and ensure that activities are in compliance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)’s  Accreditation Criteria, Standards for Commercial SupportSM, and relevant policies.  The committee also evaluates eligibility for risk management study and other MA state mandated educational requirements. This committee meets approximately 6 times per year via teleconference on the second Tuesday of January, March, May, June, September and November from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Strategic Planning (Board Committee)
Studies the environment affecting physicians, their patients and the global health care industry. Makes recommendations concerning the short and long term strategic direction of the Society and serve as a guide for prioritizing and planning activities of the Society. Reviews and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, regarding policies eligible for sunsetting. This committee meets approximately 4 times a year and participates in strategic planning retreats as appropriate.

Student Health & Sports Medicine (Special Committee) 
Provides advice and counsel in matters related to student health and sports medicine – specifically to promote school-based adolescent health education and sports medicine for various patient populations, including the student athlete. Acts as liaison with organizations working in these areas, increases MMS visibility with various audiences on student health and sports medicine issues, and addresses related areas as may come before it. This committee meets approximately 5 times a year on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Sustainability of Private Practice (Special) (New)
Provides periodic feedback to the Board of Trustees and the House of Delegates on matters related to the viability and unique needs of private practice physicians (i.e. covered services, technology, payment methods)  in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for the benefit of all physicians and patients in the Commonwealth.  Schedule to be determined.

Violence Intervention and Prevention (Special Committee)
Provides education, advice, and counsel to the Society and its leadership on matters relating to violence intervention and prevention, with emphasis on family violence (intimate partner violence, child abuse and/or neglect, adolescent relationship violence, and elder abuse), school violence, bullying, sexual assault, suicide, torture, and other forms of intentional trauma. This committee typically meets on Mondays 4 or 5 times a year beginning at 7:00 p.m. 

Women's Health (Special Committee)
Provides a valuable forum to identify and advocate for professional issues of concern to women physicians, educate colleagues about women’s health, foster membership, participation and leadership of women within the MMS.  This committee meets approximately 4-6 times per year.

Young Physicians (Special Committee)
Increases the membership and active participation of young physicians in the MMS. Focusing on physicians aged 40 and under – as well as those within their first eight years of practice – this committee identifies issues and sponsors educational and social programs specific to young physicians as well as lowers barriers to their participation in Society activities and governance. This committee meets approximately 6 times a year on weeknights via teleconference from 6:30-7:30 p.m. or directly after an educational webinar, and up to 2 times a year on weeknights at MMS headquarters from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

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