How to Start a CMA-SS Chapter at Your School
March 05, 2011
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:
- Develop a list of names of Catholic Students.
- 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.
- Plan and schedule an initial event. Some suggested events include: a dinner to include a discussion on spiritual or medical topics, a Mass followed by a time for fellowship, a Bible study, etc.
- Send invitations directly to students on the list. Try to attract students not on the list.
- 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. There are two documents that need to be reviewed prior to filling out the information. The first is the Sample 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. Each constitution/bylaws submitted with the application will be reviewed by a CMA-SS officer.
Along with the constitution/bylaws, we asked that each group submit a completed Charter Agreement. This agreement is intended to establish a formal relationship between your chapter and the national office of the CMA-SS.
Once your group has established a constitution or bylaws, and has completed the Charter Agreement, the next step is to fill out the application.
If you have any questions, please email us for clarification!
Again, welcome to the Catholic Medical Association Student Section!
CMA-SS Leadership Team