American Academy of Emergency Medicine

How to Form a Chapter Division of AAEM

The following is a "how to" guide for forming a chapter division. (Note that the AAEM bylaws allow for formation of chapters in foreign countries including Canadian Provinces, so if you have an idea but you are not quite sure, drop a line or an email to info@aaem.org.

We would recommend the following procedures:

1. The bylaws. This is an easy process as you may use the bylaws template from another chapter division and make the appropriate changes. The bylaws must be submitted to the national AAEM board for approval. The AAEM office will be glad to supply you with an electronic copy of the chapter division bylaws, which you may use as a format.

2. Find a group of AAEM members in your region who are dedicated to the mission statement of AAEM. My experience is that committed, enthusiastic EPs are better to name for the board of directors. Name a president (you), vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer. This will be the Executive Committee. Then name a board of directors, anywhere from four to six individuals. (Remember you want this to be an even number so that when the entire board meets for a vote you have an odd number when you add the Executive Committee, so that you don't end up with tie votes.)

3. You will want to buy a copy of Rules of Order by Dr. James E. Davis to run the board meetings and conference calls. This edition was selected by national AAEM due to the ease of use as compared to Robert's Rules. This book may be found at any local bookstore or may be ordered online.

4. We have found that email is a very efficient way to communicate. I would encourage all officers and board members to have an email address. One or two face-to-face meetings a year are important, but having conference calls in the interim helps the board take care of business in a timely and less expensive manner.

5. You will want to be recognized by your state medical society and get involved in the legislative process. Your state medical society will be able to help you with this. I suggest the president (at the very least) be a member of the state medical society. They often have annual legislative leadership conferences, which you may attend to find out what is happening in your state. This is your opportunity to meet and discuss issues of local concern with state politicians.

So what are you waiting for? Come on, throw your hat into the ring, and have a great time doing it realizing you will be part of EM history.