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How to Start a Chapter

How to Start a CMA-SS Chapter at Your School

Welcome to the Catholic Medical Association Student Section! We are excited that you have shown interest in starting a student group at your school. Establishing a chapter of the CMA-SS at your school is a great way to strengthen the community of Catholic medical students in your area. Through a student group, you can have organizational support for one another, as well as direct support from local Catholic physicians and from CMA’s national office. Moreover, having an official CMA-SS chapter provides witness to fellow students and faculty of a group of students who have chosen to practice medicine in a way that truly serves the health and dignity of patients and respects God’s law.

Starting a Group at Your School

A few steps to get you started:

  1. Reach out to local physician members of the Catholic Medical Association and/or the local CMA guild to see if someone would be willing to mentor the new group.
  2. Send invitations directly to students on the list. Try to attract students not on the list.
  3. Disseminate, at the inaugural event, information about the CMA-SS. Collect names of students interested in becoming members and provide them with the application form and website for enrollment in the CMA-SS.

We are asking that each group have at least four students who are members of the CMA-SS. Membership to the CMA comes with many benefits, including scholarships to conferences, reception of the Linacre Quarterly and CMA and CMA-SS newsletters and updates, access to a database of CMA members, and many other perks. Having group members become members of the CMA-SS creates strength in the group by keeping all the members in contact with the national office and receiving our updates.

We are also asking that each group to have a physician mentor who is also a member of the Catholic Medical Association. We encourage you to find a physician who is affiliated with your school or in your city. We also encourage you to reach out to the local CMA guild in your area and become affiliated with them. If you have difficulty in finding a physician or guild, we are able to assist you in this. 

Application Process and Related Documents

Once you have gathered interested student members of the CMA, the next step is to complete the application process. If you are a group of four or more Catholic students at a U. S. medical or osteopathic school, please complete at return the following application which includes three parts:

  • Charter Agreement ~ This agreement is intended to establish a formal relationship between your chapter and the national office of the CMA-SS.
  • Application ~ This document establishes the location, leaders, and physician mentor for the new chapter.
  • Constitution/Bylaws ~ This document is intended to be a guide for your group in creating a document that outlines for your group the purpose, structure, and affiliation with the CMA-SS. If your school has further requirements, then feel free to add to the document as needed.

We are also very excited about the institution of affiliate chapters! If you are a group of four or more Catholic students who are seeking one of the following degrees,

  • An advanced-health degree at an accredited institution in the United States
  • A medical degree at an accredited Caribbean medical or osteopathic school that includes two years of training in the United States

Please complete and return the following affiliate chapter application which includes the same sections stated above.

When completing the documents, you can use the “add text comment” function at the top of the pdfs, or you can print, fill in, and scan the final copies. Please save the file with you chapter name, city, and state as the file name and email to students@cathmed.org.

If you have any questions, please email us for clarification!

Thank you for your work in starting at CMA-SS chapter! We are very excited to welcome you to a growing network of Catholic medical students around the country!

In Christ,

CMA-SS Leadership Team