Article I–Name

The name of the organization shall be Directors of Clinical Skills Courses (DOCS).

Article II–Mission

Founded in 2011, the purpose of the Directors of Clinical Skills Courses (DOCS) is to build a cohesive and productive national consortium of educators who direct clinical skills courses for medical students. We aim to promote scholarship, establish best practices, and encourage the exchange of ideas across the continuum of clinical skills education.


Article III–Membership

Membership is available to all faculty or staff involved with courses that teach medical students clinical skills and related content such as clinical reasoning, professionalism, and ethics.


Article IV–Meetings

The organization shall conduct at least one meeting per year for the purpose of conducting such business as shall properly come before the voting membership.


Article V–Governance, Officers and Councilors

DOCS shall be overseen by a council (DOCS Executive Council). The business and affairs of DOCS shall be managed by the council as outlined in the DOCS bylaws.  


The elected officers of the Directors of Clinical Skills Courses shall be the President, the President-Elect, the Immediate Past President, Secretary and Treasurer.  The officers, four regional GEA representatives (NEGEA, CGEA, WGEA and SGEA elected by the membership), and each appointed chair of the association’s standing committees shall constitute the Executive Council of the organization.  This group shall meet at least quarterly in person or remotely.


A.  Eligibility for nomination:

1.   The President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer shall have served as a member of the Executive Council at the time or any time prior to the nomination.

2.  Representation on the Executive Council shall be limited to not more than two representatives per academic institution.

3. Members elected to one of the four GEA Regional Representatives must come from an AAMC school that is a member of the specific GEA Region they are elected to represent. However, GEA Regional Representatives are general members of the Executive Council and therefore are elected by the full membership (not just by members of the region they represent.) 

4. Additional DOCS members may be appointed by the President subject to approval by the Executive Council to represent DOCS with other relevant organizations (clerkship directors organizations etc.).  Any DOCS member can be approved by the Executive Council as an official DOCS representative to other organizations.


B.  Term of office:

1.  The President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past President shall serve one year and shall not be eligible for re-nomination as an elected officer or councilor until they have been out of office at least one year.

2.  The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve for two years and shall be eligible for re-nomination for an additional two-year term, a maximum of four years.

3.  GEA Regional Representatives are elected by the membership and shall serve two-year terms

4.  Committee Chairs are appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Executive Council.  Upon such confirmation, they shall serve two-year terms, and shall be eligible for re-appointment by the President for an additional two-year term, a maximum of four years. Committee Chairs include Membership, Research, Advocacy and Advancement and Nominating

5. No member may serve on the Council for more than ten consecutive years.


C. Date of Term:

1. The date of each term shall begin immediately upon close of business of the annual meeting.

2. Elections must occur at least 30 days prior to the annual meeting. For example, the President-Elect will be elected 30 days prior to the annual meeting, their term as President-Elect will begin at the end of the annual meeting, and their term as President will begin at the end of the following year’s annual meeting.

3. The incoming President (President Elect from the prior year) will select and invite candidates for open appointed positions in the period beginning 30 days before the annual meeting through and immediately after the annual meeting and the candidates will be confirmed by the Executive Council no later than 30 days after the annual meeting.  The effective date for a term for any appointed position will be the close of business of the annual meeting.


D. Election Procedures

Open elections will occur prior to the annual meeting.  

Only active DOCS members can be considered as a candidate for an elected position, or as an ad-hoc member of the Nominating committee.  An active DOCS member is defined as any current or former clinical skills course director or educator who has registered for membership in DOCS, as verified by the membership chair and recorded in the membership database and who has paid dues or attended one of the prior three DOCS annual meetings, subject to review by the Executive Council as needed.  


1. Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall be made up of two members of the Executive Council (the Nominating Committee chair and the President Elect or Past President) and three volunteers from the DOCS membership (ad hoc nominating committee members).  Ad hoc Nominating Committee members shall be appointed by the Nominating Committee chair subject to approval by the Executive council. 

Members selected for the Nominating Committee may not run for an elected officer position in the upcoming elections.


2. Soliciting Candidates

An email will be sent to DOCS members (as defined above) to invite them to nominate themselves or other DOCS members for candidacy for one of the elected positions.  The invitation will contain terms, roles, and responsibilities as stated by the bylaws.  Interested candidates (or their nominators) will be directed to provide information on position sought, qualifications, reasons for wanting to run for office, and a profile picture. The Nominating Committee will meet immediately after the submission deadline to choose candidates.  If no individual has requested consideration for an elected DOCS officer position OR if the Nominating Committee feels that there are no qualified candidates for an elected DOCS officer position, the Nominating Committee is charged with identifying appropriate candidates from the DOCS membership.


3. Choosing Candidates

The Nominating Committee will select at least one and no more than three candidates for each elected position. A simple majority vote of all Nominating Committee members is required to select candidates. The Nominating Committee will consider geographic variety, service to DOCS, years of experience in directing a clinical skills course, scholarly contributions, and leadership skills.  Candidates chosen by the Nominating Committee are subject to approval by the Executive Council (majority vote either electronically or at the next scheduled Executive council meeting).


4. Voting

The Secretary, in conjunction with the Nominating Committee and the Membership chair, will be responsible for administering an online election of the proposed candidates. The election information will include a description and terms of office for each position, the name and picture of the candidate, the candidate’s biographical sketch, their qualifications, and their reason for wanting that position.  Voting will take place over a 30 day period and will conclude no later than 30 days prior to the annual meeting. All candidates will be notified of the results immediately after they are tallied.  Winners will be announced at the annual meeting.  In order to elect officers, at least 45% of the DOCS membership must have voted.  Should voter participation be lower than expected, it is the Nominating Committee’s responsibility for soliciting participation.  If 45% participation is not reached by the end of the voting periods, then a live vote will take place at the annual meeting to select elected officers. The “live vote” will be completed by ballot of registered members in attendance at the annual meeting and will require at least 60 votes for each elected position to be considered valid.  


E.  Vacancies

Vacancies in any office arising from any cause may be filled by the council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Council. Alternatively, the council may remove any officer at any time by an affirmative vote of the members at a duly called meeting of the membership.  The council may remove any councilor at any time by an affirmative vote of (2/3) of the Council.


If a vacancy is created on the Executive Council in one of the four GEA regional positions, a regional representative should be named from among those candidates nominated for that regional representative position not elected to office during the most recent election (i.e. the unsuccessful candidate receiving the most votes).  If there are not alternative candidates, then the representative can be identified from the membership of that respective region.  This individual would be designated as an “interim regional representative” who would complete the term of the prematurely departing representative.  At the end of the interim term, the interim representative would be eligible to be nominated for a full term.  The interim representative councilor will serve on the Executive Council only with the final approval of the President and Council.  In the event that no candidate is available from the prior ballot, the President shall nominate an interim representative in a timely fashion.  This candidate may be installed only with the final approval of the Executive Council.


Article VI–Duties of the Officers

The President shall prepare the agenda and preside at meetings of DOCS and its Executive Council.  The President shall provide for the recording of action items.  The President shall be responsible, between meetings of the Executive Council and/or the voting membership, for initiating action on business important to the organization.  The President may consult with any member of the organization to facilitate the orderly conduct of the organization’s business.  The President or his/her designee will represent DOCS in the conduct of business with other national organizations or agencies important to the goals of DOCS. The President-Elect shall serve in the place of the President when necessary and shall otherwise function as a member of the Executive Council.


The Secretary will be responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of all Executive Council meetings. The Secretary will work directly with all committees as in matters of membership status. The Secretary will keep annual records of Executive Council members and other key documents related to DOCS business.  The Secretary will keep records of Executive Council terms and inform the Nominating Committee and Executive Council about positions that will be up for election each year, at least 3 months prior to the annual meeting.


The Treasurer shall be authorized to collect the dues and to disburse the funds of the organization in accordance with directives and policies established by the Executive Council and in the DOCS bylaws.  The Treasurer shall maintain the bank account, prepare the annual budget and recommend the dues structure for review and approval by the Executive Council.  The Treasurer shall also file the appropriate annual return with the Internal Revenue Service as required for a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.  The Treasurer shall ensure an annual review of the organization’s finances, which will be presented to the membership either at the annual business meeting or electronically.


The GEA Regional Representatives, in addition to serving on the Executive Council, shall attend and represent the DOCS organization at each of the GEA regional meetings. They shall communicate important regional GEA information and activities back to the Executive Council.


The Executive Council, meeting at the request of the President, shall act on behalf of the membership to further the goals of the organization and in conducting its business.  The action items of each Executive Council meeting shall be given to any member of the organization upon written request.  The President will present a year-end summary of the actions of the Executive Council to the DOCS membership at the annual meeting or electronically.


The Executive Council may remove any member at any time by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Council or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members at a duly called meeting of the membership.


Members of the Executive Council, or any other member of the Association, shall not be compensated by Association funds, beyond the reimbursement of reasonable expenses approved by the Executive Council for organization-related travel or other business, or otherwise gain financially from service in DOCS.


Article VII–Committees and Representatives

Membership on committees shall be open to all DOCS members.  The President shall be an ex-officio member without vote on all committees. The President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, may appoint a series of standing and ad hoc committees to address issues important to DOCS and/or related to the operations of the DOCS.

The President, with the advice of the Executive Council, will also appoint the chairs of the committees. Terms for committee chairs and members will be for two years. The President and Executive Council have the option to renew a committee chair’s term membership on a committee following the completion of a term President may renew the term of a committee chair for a maximum of one additional two-year term, subject to approval by the Executive Council.

The President, with the advice of the Executive Committee, will also appoint DOCS representatives as liaisons or full members of national clerkship organizations with missions related to that of DOCS. Such DOCS representatives shall be active members of their respective clerkship organizations as allowed by the by-laws of those organizations. They are tasked with ensuring DOCS representation at clerkship national meetings, and they shall communicate important information and activities back to the Executive Council. Terms for clerkship representatives will be for two years.  The President and Executive Council may re-appoint a DOCS clerkship representative for a maximum of one additional two-year term.

DOCS may also establish liaisons with other organizations within academic medicine, and have members from such organizations serve as members of DOCS standing or ad hoc committees.


Article VIII–Quorum and Voting

All issues requiring a vote by DOCS members will be conducted by ballot as outlined in Articles VIII and IX.  Ballots will be sent electronically by the Executive Council. For a vote taken on any matter, except as otherwise provided in the Bylaws, the matter shall be acted upon affirmatively according to the largest number of votes cast from those who completed ballots by the given deadline.


At all meetings of the Executive Council and committees, a simple majority of the Executive Council or committees shall constitute a quorum.  If a vote is taken on any matter during a meeting, except as otherwise stipulated in the Bylaws, the matter shall be acted on affirmatively following a favorable vote by a simple majority of Council or committee members.


Article IX– Approval of and Making Amendments to the Bylaws


These Bylaws shall take effect upon the affirmative written vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those DOCS members in attendance at the November 3, 2012 annual DOCS meeting.

An amendment to these Bylaws must be made in accordance with the following procedure:


A.  Any DOCS member can propose an amendment to the bylaws through their appropriate regional representative.

B. The proposed amendment shall be reviewed by the Executive Council

C.  If deemed appropriate by the Executive Council, the proposed amendment shall be redistributed and subject to discussion during the annual business meeting.

D.  The amendment will be voted on at the annual meeting and shall be adopted upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the DOCS members present. The Secretary shall, in a timely way, inform the membership of the results of any vote on bylaw amendments.


  • Original Bylaws presented to and approved by DOCS membership:  November 3, 2012

  • Bylaws revisions presented to and approved by DOCS membership:  November 10, 2015

  • Current version of bylaws presented to DOCS membership:  February 19, 2016

  • Most recent bylaws revision approved by DOCS membership on November 8, 2019

Developing clinical skills excellence in tomorrow’s physicians


 Directors of Clinical Skills Courses