American Physician Scientists Association Local Chapter Constitution
We, the members of the American Physician Scientists Association Chapter do hereby establish this Constitution in order that our purpose be realized to its fullest extent.
Article I – Name
This organization shall be known as the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Local Chapter of the American Physician Scientists Association Chapter and will hereinafter be referred to as the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) APSA Chapter.
Article II – Purpose
The APSA Chapter understands and is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities of abiding by UAMS policies. In extension of the purpose of the National APSA Chapter, the UAMS APSA Chapter has been established for the purpose of creating a student led organization dedicated to career development, mentorship, and mutual support for future clinician scientists that they may have a high impact on health care through discovery, translational and clinical research, and clinical practice.
More specifically, the APSA Chapter will allow its members to:
- Extend training program initiatives for aspiring physician-scientists to professional programs at UAMS where they will be beneficial, but may not be currently highly available or formalized, including but not limited to the college of medicine, college of pharmacy, and college of public health.
- Acquire a better understanding of medical research and related principles.
- Meet, network with, and build collaborative relationships with other aspiring physician-scientists in training, as well as with established faculty.
- Acquire knowledge and skills necessary to bring the rigors of scientific investigation into patient care, and likewise, use medical training to bring clinically relevant questions into the world of research.
- Interact with experienced and successful physician-scientists
- Provide vertical mentorship to those who are at a less advanced stage in their training.
- Better understand the challenges, pitfalls, and opportunities in the training and career of a physician-scientist.
- Provide leadership in communicating information to the public and governmental organizations on how biomedical sciences benefit health care.
Article III – Membership
- Membership is open to all students following the path to become physician scientists, including: M.D./P.hD., M.D./MPH, M.D./M.S., M.D., and Pharm.D./Ph.D. students.
- Members must be in good academic standing with passing grades and not on leave for unexcused purposes.
- All active members must make all reasonable attempts to attend and participate in at least half (6) of the monthly meetings each year in order to run for officer positions and be guaranteed access to chapter benefits and sponsored activities.
- Membership does not currently require dues.
The UAMS APSA Chapter openly admits students to its membership and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Article IV – Officers
The APSA chapter will be governed as follows:
The officers of the APSA Chapter shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, a College of Medicine Liaison, and Undergraduate Liaison. The APSA officers will constitute the executive committee. The officers of the APSA Chapter should be active members of the UAMS APSA Chapter, are required to be a student of the College of Medicine, and are in good standing in their program of study at UAMS. Any additional positions may be created for the purposes of the APSA Chapter by a 2/3 vote of the active members. Officers of the APSA Chapter will be charged with the assigned duties described herein:
President/Institutional Representative – The President is charged with the overall operation of the APSA Chapter. He or she must ensure the continuance of programs that benefit the student body. Furthermore, the president must communicate frequently with the members and the national APSA organization. The president must promote the interests of the APSA Chapter within the university. An elected President (or other chapter officer) will preside at all chapter meetings. The President will serve as the Institutional Representative (IR) for UAMS at the National APSA level or work closely with this individual, if and IR is already in place. The President will maintain the power to appoint all committee chairpersons, shall present all motions to the body present and shall be present at 90% of chapter meetings. The president shall also make every effort to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Physician Scientists Association, or appoint a person such as the Institutional Representative to attend in their place.
Vice President – The Vice President is charged with ensuring the smooth election and transition of the officers after election, helping to provide continuity to the chapter. He or she is charged with maintaining a current e-mail list of chapter membership, and with serving as the Acting President when the President deems necessary. Furthermore, in the event the President resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President must assume the responsibility of President until the officers and advisory members can meet to vote a new President.
Secretary – He or she will take minutes of all chapter meetings. These shall include a timeline of activities and programs, and any notes or suggestions submitted by the officers or chapter members in attendance. The Secretary shall also oversee the committees in charge of organizing individual events. These committees shall be comprised of one chairperson and at least 2 – 3 general members who will plan and execute APSA-sponsored events. The Secretary will maintain contact with the committee chair to ensure that adequate progress is being made such that the event will be ready by its planned date.
Treasurer – This person will record and maintain the records of expenditures for the APSA Chapter, including submission of forms necessary to request funds.
Webmaster – He or she will be responsible for maintaining the APSA chapter webpage.
Faculty Advisor – The faculty advisor must be a full-time member of the UAMS faculty, selected by the membership of the APSA Chapter. The Faculty Advisor is responsible for generating ideas, serving as a resource person, and providing continuity to the organization. To complement the stated goals of the APSA Chapter, the Faculty Advisor will be an established physician-scientist who has significant experience in mentoring aspiring physician-scientists.
College of Medicine (COM) Liaison – The COM Representative is a position established to ensure stable and substantial communication between the APSA Chapter and the COM. This position will be filled by an APSA Chapter member (see article III) actively enrolled in the COM, but not the MSTP or MD/PhD program. The representative will be charged with the duty of ensuring that APSA maintains a strong relationship with the COM and is a visible organization for all aspiring physician-scientists at UAMS. The COM Representative will be elected from the Chapter’s membership according to Article VI and is a member of the executive committee. This person is charged with promoting the mission of the APSA Chapter within the COM by advertising events, recruiting additional members, and spreading information about the chapter. Electing two APSA members to the COM Liaison positions is allowable, so long as one is the in the MS1-2 (pre-clinical) years of training while the others is in the MS3-4 (clinical) years.
Undergraduate Liaison – Multiple Undergraduate Representatives may be elected among active members with the purpose to engage in communication with various state undergraduate institutions on behalf of the UAMS APSA local chapter. These representatives will be charged with ensuring that the APSA maintains visibility to all aspiring physician-scientists at local undergraduate institutions.
Article V – Committees
As a chapter, APSA will sponsor regular events that are specifically developed to meet the training needs of aspiring physician-scientists (See article II). The following committees will be chaired by an officer or active member, and their need will be reassessed on a yearly basis following the conclusion
Academic and Professional Training and Development
This committee will be formed with the purpose of working closely with faculty and UAMS administration to refine, and continue to improve, the training and development of UAMS physician scientist trainees. This committee should consider curricula, clinical transitions, summer research and rotations during the pre-clinical years, as well as any other areas the committee deems fit.
Career Planning and Research Directions
This committee will act to provide active members with opportunities to explore, plan, and discuss career options and paths available to physician-scientists. This can include, but will not be limited to, 1) regular lunch sessions during monthly meetings in which local physician scientists will join active members for an informal presentation during lunch, and 2) invited out-of-state speakers for a campus-wide symposium.
This committee will be formed for the purpose of working closely with the other colleges at UAMS in order to form strong collaborations and cultivate a learning environment that is mutually beneficial to all programs involved.
Article VI – Chapter Operations
- Voting Eligibility
Those members meeting active membership criteria cited above are eligible to vote in UAMS APSA local chapter elections.
- Election Process
- Elections will be held every May, with nominations remaining open for the first full week of May, and voting taking place the following week. Results will be emailed out, and will also be announced at the APSA meeting at the end of the month.
- Individuals will self-nominate by sending an email to both the acting president and vice president. Nominations should include a statement of interest and intent, as well as any proposed changes the nominee would like to see going forward.
- Current officers are able to re-run for the same or different positions.
- The executive committee will email all active members a list of nominees, including statements of interest and intent following the week of nominations.
- All active members, including nominees themselves, are able to vote, and will be given at least 1 week to cast votes.
- Votes should be emailed into both the acting president and vice president, who will tally the votes and email the results out to the APSA local chapter prior to the monthly meeting.
- If no active members are nominated for an executive board position, the newly elected executive committee will fulfill that position’s responsibilities until the position may be filled.
- Term Limits
At this time, no term limits will be set in place.
Any officer of the APSA Chapter in violation of the chapter’s purpose or constitution may be removed from office by the following process:
- A written request by at least three members of the chapter
- Written notification to the officer of the request, asking the officer to present at the next meeting and be prepared to speak,
- A two-thirds majority vote is necessary to remove the officer.
Meetings will occur monthly. Time and place of meetings will be determined by a vote from all active members at the beginning of each election cycle. An online survey, will be used to determine a time that the largest number of active members may attend. The president must be able to attend a majority of these meetings.
- The secretary will take meeting attendance prior to the start of the meeting.
- The meeting agenda will be presented by a member of the executive committee.
- If an invited speaker is present, the active member responsible for inviting them will introduce the speaker to the group.
- Committee reports, if available, will be presented during the meeting. If necessary, voting on all motions and decisions will occur.
- Any members may put forward any other items of business following the completion of the official agenda.
- Dismissal by the president.
- Officer Meetings
Officer meetings will be held preceding membership meeting to discuss the meeting agenda, attend to the items outlined in Article IV (Officer expectations and assigned duties), and to discuss the progress of committee activities (Article V).
Article VII – Finances
The APSA Chapter will finance the activities it engages in by applying for funding through the UAMS medical and graduate school, hosting fundraisers, and applying for grants available through the national APSA chapter.
Article VIII – Amendments
The constitution is binding to all members of the APSA Chapter. But the constitution is not binding unto itself. Any member in good standing may submit proposed constitutional amendments to the executive board. The executive board will disseminate the proposed amendment in writing to the members in a timely manner following submission, and prior to voting at the next scheduled association meeting. A two-thirds executive committee majority is required for amendment approval. Any amendments that achieve a half or greater votes, will be opened up to all active members in good standing for a final vote.
Following elections of new officers, the outgoing and incoming officers will review the constitution. Any proposed changes or amendments will be presented to the membership at the next monthly meeting and will be voted on. A two-thirds executive committee majority is required for approval.
Article IX – Status Within the UAMS College of Medicine
The UAMS APSA local chapter is recognized as a student interest group in both the UAMS College of Medicine and the UAMS graduate school.