The ACEP Council process is complex, intricate, even a bit messy at times, and yet very functional. Putting 360-plus of the brightest minds in emergency medicine together in a room for two days to discuss, debate, and develop solutions for issues impacting our specialty and our patients is impressive to watch and particularly impressive to participate in. The Council can be thought of as the Congress of emergency medicine, functioning similarly to the British Parliament. Although a great deal of business is addressed during the Council’s annual meeting, perhaps the most critical issues to EM are the elections of our Council Officers, ACEP Board members, and President-Elect and the deliberation and either adoption, nonadoption, or referral (to the Board of Directors for further consideration) of the Council resolutions (similar to congressional bills). The ACEP Board of Directors sets policy, but the ACEP Council guides the initiatives of the Board based on the actions adopted via the resolution process. Resolutions that are adopted by the Council contain actions to be enacted by the Board of Directors. On those rare occasions—I cannot recall one—where the Board does not vote to accept the adopted resolution, a process exists to reconcile the difference of opinion. Below, I have included important excerpts from this year’s meeting: the outcome of all of the Council resolutions; four examples of resolutions and their specific outcomes; and the responses to the Council demographic questions, which are drafted each year to gain insight into important issues facing our specialty.
Members of the Council, who represent their constituents and their interests, draft Council resolutions. The resolutions are submitted by late summer, and the staff develops detailed background information explaining any previous ACEP activity on the topic, the fiscal impact of the resolveds (the actionable portion of the resolutions), and any other important facts that will aid the Council in its deliberation. The resolutions are then published. On the first day of the Council meeting, the testimony is heard on all resolutions at Reference Committees, which will make the final editorial changes based on the testimony received. The goal of the Reference Committees is to make certain that the resolutions meet the needs of the Council, per the testimony received, and to make a recommendation (adopt, not adopt, or refer) for the outcome of each resolution. As noted below, a summary of the testimony provided accompanies their report on each resolution. Our Reference Committee Chairs, John T. Finnell, MD, FACEP; Kathleen Clem, MD, FACEP; and Howard K. Mell, MD, MPH, FACEP, and their committee members did an outstanding job in conducting this essential part of this year’s meeting.