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Directors of Clinical Skills Education (DOCS) Bylaws

Article I – Name

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

Article II – Mission

Founded in 2011, the purpose of the Directors of Clinical Skills Education (DOCS) is to build a cohesive and productive national consortium of educators who direct clinical skills education 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

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

B.  Voting members are those who are current in their payment of DOCS dues, as defined by Executive Council policy.  Such members may vote in DOCS elections and on other official DOCS business.​


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

A.  DOCS shall be overseen by a council (DOCS Executive Council) which shall manage the business and affairs of DOCS as outlined in these bylaws.  


B.  The members of the Executive Council shall include the following: 


  1. The elected officers of DOCS, including the President, the President-Elect, the Immediate Past President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer

  2. Four regional representatives (Northeast, South, Central, and West) elected by the full DOCS membership

  3. The appointed chairs, co-chairs, and/or vice chairs of each of the organization’s standing committees, with only one representative from each of these committees contributing to total membership count, quorum, and voting in any given meeting

  4. The Executive Director, in a non-voting capacity


C. The Executive Council shall meet at least quarterly in person or remotely.

D.  Fifty percent of the Executive Council's membership shall constitute a quorum to conduct Council meetings and business.


E. Executive Council voting:


  1. For ordinary business decisions, a simple majority of the Executive Council voting members shall suffice in demonstrating the will of the Council.

  2. Executive Council voting may proceed either in person, via conference call, or via email or other electronic means.  Proxy voting shall not be allowed, except for the chairs, co-chairs, and/or vice chairs who may serve as proxy voting members for their respective committees.


F.  Committees:


  1. The standing committees of the DOCS Executive Council shall include:  a) Research, b) Program Planning, c) Nominating, d) Membership & Mentorship, e) Technology & Networking, and f) Interest Groups.

  2. The Executive Council shall have the authority to create or dissolve standing committees, and to establish time-limited, issue-focused working groups to assist it in its work.

  3. Membership on committees shall be open to all DOCS members.  The President shall be an ex-officio member without vote on all committees.

G.  Executive Director

  1. The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the organization.

  2. The Executive Director is appointed by the President of DOCS, following confirmation of that appointment by a majority of the Executive Council.

  3. The Executive Director shall report to the President of DOCS, and shall be a non-voting member of the Council.

  4. The scope of responsibilities and the compensation of the Executive Director shall be determined by majority vote of the Executive Council.

H.  Board of Advisors

  1. The Board of Advisors serves as trusted counsel for the Executive Council.  The Board provides guidance on matters of strategic importance, and its members are ambassadors for DOCS to their own institutions as well as to the broader medical education community.

  2. The Board of Advisors shall convene at least once a year, in person or virtually, at a meeting chaired by either the current President or President-Elect of DOCS.

  3. All former Presidents of DOCS are eligible to be on the Board of Advisors once they have been off of the Executive Council for one year.

  4. Advisors are invited to serve by the current President of DOCS, and must be approved by majority vote of the Executive Council.

  5. Advisors shall serve two-year terms, and shall be eligible for reappointment by the President for two additional, two-year terms, a maximum of 6 years.

Article VI - Eligibility, Terms of Office, and Removal from the Executive Council

A.  Eligibility for nomination:

  1. The President-Elect shall have served as a member of the Executive Council at the time or any time prior to being nominated to the office.

  2. The Secretary and Treasurer, at the time of or any time prior to their nomination, shall have served either:  a) as a member of the Executive Council, or b) as a member of a DOCS committee.

  3. Not more than two individuals from the same academic institution may serve simultaneously on the Executive Council.

  4. Members elected to one of the four Regional Representative positions must come from a school that is located in the specific AAMC GEA Region (Northeast, South, Central, West) they are elected to represent.  Being full members of the Executive Council, regional representatives shall be elected by the full DOCS membership (not just by members of the region they represent).


B.  Terms of office:

  1. Upon being elected, the President-Elect shall serve one year, then transition to President for one year, and then assume the position of Immediate Past-President for one year.  The President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past President shall not be eligible for re-nomination as a council member 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. Regional Representatives shall serve staggered two-year terms and shall be eligible for nomination and election for an additional two-year term, a maximum of four years.  The Northeast and South Regional Representatives will have simultaneous terms one year apart from the simultaneous terms of the Central and West Regional Representatives.

  4. Vacancies in Standing Committee Chair positions are filled by appointment by the President and must be approved by the Executive Council.  Upon such confirmation, chairs 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.

  5. Each term starts immediately upon the close of business of the annual meeting.

  6. No member shall serve on the Council for more than ten consecutive years.


C.  Removal from the Executive Council​

  1. The Executive Council may remove any member at any time by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Council.  

Article VII - Duties of Executive Council Members

A.  The President shall prepare the agenda and preside at meetings of DOCS and at Executive Council meetings.  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, with Executive Council approval, may appoint persons to serve as chairs of the organization's standing committees.  The President may consult with any member of the organization to facilitate the orderly conduct of the organization's business.  The President will represent DOCS, or, with the approval of the Executive Council, appoint a DOCS member to represent DOCS in the conduct of business with other national organizations or agencies.  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.

B.  The President-Elect shall serve in the place of the President when necessary and shall otherwise function as a member of the Executive Council.​

C.  The Immediate Past-President shall advise the President and the Executive Council on important decisions and the strategic direction of DOCS, while also being available to sit on committees and task forces as needed.​

D.  The Secretary shall be responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of all Executive Council meetings.  The Secretary will keep current the records of Executive Council meetings and other key policy documents related to DOCS business, and make them accessible to DOCS members.    The Secretary will work with the chair of the Membership Committee to ensure the organization has the most accurate list of its members.  The Secretary will work with the chair of the Nominating Committee to determine those positions that will be available for election each year.

E.  The Treasurer shall be authorized to collect the dues and to disburse the funds of the organization in accordance with directions and policies established by the Executive Council and these bylaws.  The Treasurer shall maintain the bank and investment accounts, 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.​

F.  The Regional Representatives, in addition to serving on the Executive Council, shall attend and represent the DOCS organization at each of the AAMC GEA regional meetings.  They shall communicate important regional information and activities back to the Executive Council.  They shall also assist with identifying new members and promoting DOCS activities within their region.​

G.  The Committee Chairs, in additional to serving on the Executive Council, shall advance the DOCS mission through the work of their respective committees, including the chairing of their committee meetings and the timely communication of important committee actions back to the Executive Council.​

H.  Members of the Executive Council, or any other member of DOCS, shall not be compensated by DOCS funds, beyond the reimbursement of reasonable expenses approved by the Executive Council for organization-related travel or other business.  Neither shall Executive Council members otherwise gain financially from service in DOCS.


Article VIII – Election Procedures

A.  Open elections shall occur at least yearly, for the purpose of filling vacancies in the Executive Council elected positions.  Only voting members of DOCS can cast ballots, and only voting members of DOCS can be considered as candidates for elected office.

B.  Nominating Committee​

  1. 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.

  2. Members selected for the Nominating Committee may not run for an elected office while serving on the Nominating Committee.

C.  Soliciting Candidates

An email will be sent to DOCS voting members (as defined above), inviting them to recommend themselves or other DOCS voting members to the Nominating Committee for one of the open elected positions.  The invitation will contain terms, roles, and responsibilities, of each open position.  Interested candidates will be directed to provide information on position sought, qualifications, and reasons for wanting to run for office.  The Nominating Committee will meet immediately after the submission deadline to review the information submitted by the candidates.  If the Nominating Committee finds there are no qualified candidates among those presented through the invitation process for a particular elected DOCS position, the Committee is charged with identifying and nominating appropriate candidates from among the DOCS voting members.​

D.  Choosing Candidates

The Nominating Committee, by simple majority vote, will select at least one and no more than three candidates for each elected position.  The Nominating Committee will consider service to DOCS; leadership skills; as well as geographic, academic, and other domains of diversity.  Each candidate chose by the Nominating Committee must then be approved by the Executive Council, again by simple majority vote.

E.  Voting

  1. The Nominating Committee chair, in conjunction with the Secretary and the Membership chair, will be responsible for sending to voting members of DOCS electronic ballots and thereby administering an online election of the proposed candidates. 

  2. The election information will include a description of the duties and term of office for each position, along with each candidate’s name, biographical sketch, qualifications, and reason for wanting that position. 

  3. Voting will take place over a 14 day period and will conclude no later than 14 days prior to the annual meeting. 

  4. For an election to be considered valid, ballots from at least 15% of all voting members must be returned by the end of the voting period. If that is not the case, electronic balloting may remain open for up to another 14 days. 

  5. For each elected position, the candidate with the greatest number of votes earned will be chosen for office. All candidates will be notified of the results immediately after they are tallied.  New officers will be announced at the annual meeting.

F.  Vacancies

  1. Vacancies in any office arising from any cause may be filled by the Executive Council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Council. 

  2. Any person chosen by the Council to fill such a vacancy must, at the next election, officially run for that office, if he or she desires to continue serving in it. If elected by the DOCS membership, that would count as the first term for that office.

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

  • Bylaws revisions presented to and approved by DOCS membership:  November 7, 2014, November 10, 2015, November 3, 2017, November 2, 2018, November 8, 2019, November 13, 2020, November 5, 2021, and November 11, 2022.

  • Revision of organization name presented to and approved by DOCS membership:  May 21, 2021.

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