1. Evidence of Membership
The name of any person on the official roster of the Colorado Medical Society shall be prima facie evidence of the person’s membership and the right to all privileges of that class of membership. An official Society roster shall be maintained at all times in the offices of the Colorado Medical Society.
2. Meaning of Term “Members”
There will be Active and Non-Physician Members of the Colorado Medical Society. The term physician refers to those persons who have graduated from an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy or those persons actively engaged in the study of medicine or osteopathy and who are enrolled in a Liaison Committee for Medical Education Accredited School of Medicine or American Osteopathy Association Accredited School of Osteopathy. The term physician will be used exclusively in that context for the purpose of these Bylaws. Only physicians can be active members of the Colorado Medical Society.
3. Classes of Members
- Active Members. Active Members of CMS shall be those physicians and medical students who are in good standing as Active Members of their respective component societies, and who have been so certified by the Colorado Medical Society. All Active Members shall have the rights and privileges of membership as provided by the Bylaws.
- Active Members I and II. Active Members in the first two years of their practice will be afforded lower membership dues unless elected as a result of a reduced-dues membership promotion; physicians who are elected after July 1 are granted active II or I classification for that partial year and the subsequent full year. They shall pay 35% of annual active dues during the first partial year of membership. In the second year they shall pay 70% of annual active dues. Following that, physicians shall pay 100% of annual active dues. Interruption of this two-year period, such as for residency, fellowship or preceptorship, military service or illness, will postpone completion of that two-year benefit. If elected as a result of a reduced-dues membership promotion, physicians shall pay the reduced dues for their first year of membership and shall pay 100% of annual active dues beginning with their second year of membership.
- Active Members Emeritus. An Active member may apply for Emeritus Classification in any of the following circumstances:
- A member who has been a dues-paying member of the Colorado Medical Society for 35 years and who is retired or works less than 20 hours per week.
- An Active Member who because of unusual circumstances has petitioned the CMS Board of Directors for special consideration.
- Active Members Emeritus classification shall be accorded for life to those members who are practicing less than 20 hours per week or retired, and who have paid dues to CMS for 35 years. It shall be accorded for life unless the member returns to the practice of medicine 20 or more hours per week thereby relinquishing the right to that classification. Active Members Emeritus shall have the right to vote and hold office, and will pay dues as set by the Board of Directors. All CMS members who have attained Emeritus status as of Sept. 15, 2012 shall be allowed to keep that status.
- Active Members Dues Exempt. An active member may be reclassified Active Member Dues Exempt if a temporary financial hardship reduces the physician’s practice or occupation to less than half time. This temporary financial hardship may result from physical disability, major illness or personal catastrophe. Reclassification will be made by the Board of Directors upon recommendation of the Component Society and will be reviewed annually by the Component Society. Active Members Dues Exempt shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of membership, including the right to vote and hold office. A member approved for Active Member Dues Exempt status shall receive, upon request, a pro rata refund of dues paid.
- Active Members Graduate and Student. Residents, Fellows and students enrolled in training programs recognized by the American Medical Association or the American Osteopathic Association not living in or attending medical school in the state of Colorado shall be eligible to become honorary, non-voting members at large. The student membership shall have restrictions as stated in the Bylaws of the Medical Component of CMS and shall pay annual dues or assessments in an amount not to exceed 10% of the annual Active dues or assessments as set by the CMS Board of Directors.
- Active Members Part-Time. Unless elected as a result of a reduced-dues membership promotion, Active Members practicing half time or less shall pay 50% of annual active dues. If elected as a result of a reduced-dues membership promotion, physicians shall pay the reduced dues for their first year of membership and shall pay 50% of annual active dues beginning with their second year of membership. Half time or less shall be defined as an average of less than 20 hours per week in a calendar year in medically-related fields, e.g., direct patient care, administration, academia, etc., for which remuneration is received. Professional liability insurance rates may be considered in determining this classification. This classification must be approved by the Component Society. The Component Society shall annually review members in this classification.
- Active Members – Military. Unless elected as a result of a reduced-dues membership promotion, physicians on full-time military duty shall be accorded a reduced dues classification for as long as they perform full-time military service on active duty in the uniformed services stationed in Colorado. They shall be required to pay 35% of annual active dues. If elected as a result of a reduced-dues membership promotion, physicians shall pay the reduced dues for their first year of membership and shall pay 35% of annual active dues beginning with their second year of membership. Their Component Society must approve all requests for this classification.
- Local Membership. Any component which authorizes local members in its bylaws may accept any physician who qualifies for membership as a Local Member who will belong to the Component Society only and not be a member of CMS.
- Direct Membership. Any physician may be a direct member of CMS without also belonging to a Component Society if the Component Society becomes inactive or if the physician is currently in a formal internship, residency or fellowship training program.
- Inactive Members. Dues-paying Active members of the Colorado Medical Society who wish to maintain an affiliation with CMS and anticipate further reinstatement to membership may request inactive status for a period of six or more months. Inactive Members may not vote or hold office at the state or component level and shall not be required to pay dues during the time of inactivity. Inactive Members can apply to their Component Society for reinstatement. Inactive status is appropriate for members in missionary service, absence from the state for a period of time, sabbatical or other educational absences or illness, etc., or as determined by the Board of Directors.
- Honorary Members. The Board of Directors may elect as an honorary member any exceptionally distinguished person who has made significant contribution to the constitutional purposes of CMS. Honorary Members may neither vote nor hold office, and shall be exempt from all dues and special assessments, but shall have all other rights and privileges of membership. Component societies may elect honorary members who need not necessarily be members of the Colorado Medical Society.
- Non-Physician Members.
- Non-Physician Members. Non-Physician Members of the Colorado Medical Society are non-physicians who have been elected by component societies to any form of Component Society membership other than active and honorary membership, who are in good standing in such membership, who have been so certified to CMS, and who meet one of the following qualifications:
- Dentists who hold a degree of DMD or DDS who are members of the American Dental Association and of the state and local dental societies;
- Teachers of medicine or of the sciences allied to medicine, who are citizens of the United States and are ineligible for Active Membership;
- Individuals engaged in endeavors related to medicine who have attained distinction in their fields of endeavor as determined by the Component Society and/or the Board of Directors of the Colorado Medical Society.
4. Initiation, Alteration, and Termination of Classification and Sub-classification of Members
Component societies shall determine classification of members, with changes of classification subject to review by CMS’s Board of Directors. Component societies shall change or terminate a classification as justified. Each Component Society shall certify annually the classifications and sub-classifications of all its members to the Colorado Medical Society prior to the next year’s dues mailing.
5. Determination of Qualifications for Membership
- Component Societies as Judges. Component societies shall, subject to the eligibility requirements stated below, be the judges of the qualifications of any applicant for membership. In considering an application, the Component Society shall receive and consider relevant information, which it may obtain from the executive office of Colorado Medical Society, the AMA Biographical Department, or other sources, provided that due process is accorded the applicant.
- Eligibility Requirements. Membership in the Colorado Medical Society and its component societies shall not be denied or abridged because of gender, sex, color, creed, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or ethnic origin. To be eligible for Active Membership, all of the following requirements must be met:
- The applicant must be of reputable character.
- The applicant must be licensed or otherwise legally qualified to practice medicine in the state of Colorado. Otherwise, an applicant will be subject to review by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.
- In addition to joining CMS, it is necessary to join the local society where the physician’s professional practice is located or in which he/she resides, unless otherwise excepted by these Bylaws.
- The applicant must attest to his or her practice of medicine being in accordance with proper ethical standards, including the practice of scientific medicine.
- The applicant must attest to competent practice as a physician, in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical care.
- The applicant must attest to being in an acceptable physical, mental, and emotional condition, free of any condition that would significantly impair capability of providing an acceptable standard of medical care.
- The Medical Student or Osteopathy Student applicant must be enrolled in a Liaison Committee for Medical Education Accredited School of Medicine or an American Osteopathy Association Accredited School of Osteopathy and be in training in Colorado.
- Proof of eligibility. An applicant for Active membership shall have the burden of proving that he or she meets the eligibility requirements stated above. The applicant may be required to make a full disclosure of all relevant information pertaining to qualifications, and to indicate the sources from which such information can be verified. The Component Society may solicit any additional information concerning these qualifications. The Component Society may establish other criteria for membership as long as uniformly applied to all applicants and not in conflict with Society Bylaws.
- Component societies may share with other component societies that are authorized to conduct professional review or with the Colorado Medical Society the records of its professional review committee concerning the competence, professional conduct of, or quality and appropriateness of patient care provided by a physician who seeks to subject himself or herself to, or is currently subject to the authority of the Component Society.
- Qualifications for those members applying for direct membership shall be verified by the Board of Directors.
6. Application for Membership
- Procedures for Application. Before action is taken by any Component Society upon an application for membership by a physician, a completed application form shall have been submitted by the Component Society to the Colorado Medical Society, and the form shall have been returned to the Component Society together with such information the Colorado Medical Society’s executive office may be able to supply as an aid to the Component Society in determining the eligibility of the applicant.
- Basis for Decision on Application. The decision of the Component Society upon the application shall be made on the basis of a fair and objective consideration of the information and any other relevant information obtained relative to the applicant’s qualifications in accordance with eligibility requirements. Evidence which is speculative in nature or which fails to meet the requirements for reliability as commonly applied in administrative hearings shall not be considered.
- Process for Consideration of Application. The application shall be referred by the Component Society to a Component Society credentials committee who shall study the application and make such investigation as may be appropriate to determine the qualifications of the applicant and whose action on such application shall constitute the action of the component itself. Such committee shall proceed with all due diligence, and shall complete its consideration as soon as reasonably possible under the existing circumstances. Rules of due process shall be followed, which shall include:
- The disclosure to the applicant of any adverse information that could form a basis for rejection of the application, and allowance of full opportunity for the applicant to respond. As a condition, however, to the consideration of an application for membership, the Component Society may require that the applicant execute a waiver and hold harmless agreement under which he or she agrees to waive any and all claims, of every kind or description, which the applicant may or could have against CMS, any of its Component Societies or any other person or organization furnishing information believed to be true and relevant to the application, and under which the applicant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless CMS, any of its Component Societies and any such other person or organization furnishing information as indicated above against any such claim, and all costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees, in connection therewith; provided that such a waiver or hold harmless agreement shall not require the applicant to relinquish the right to make a legally valid claim against any person for false and malicious communication defamatory to the applicant.
- The right of the applicant to be heard and to be represented by counsel if desired.
- The right to appeal to the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs from rejection of the application.
- Detailed Rules for Processing Membership Applications. The Board of Directors may adopt rules, not inconsistent with these Bylaws, providing in detail for the processing of membership applications.
- Change of Component Society Membership.
A member who wishes to change the major professional office or the location where he/she resides from the jurisdiction of one Component Society to the jurisdiction of another Component Society and who wishes to change membership to the Component Society having jurisdiction over the new office or the location where he/she resides shall submit a transfer request to the office of the current Component Society. When such member wishes to change component membership, a form prepared by CMS shall be completed and submitted to the appropriate state and component societies. Details for processing change from one Component Society to another shall be provided in rules adopted by the CMS Board of Directors.
The information to be provided to the new Component Society shall include written verification from the member’s present Component Society as to whether the physician is then in good standing in that society, and such other facts about the membership as may be needed, including information with respect to any past and pending complaints, investigations, disciplinary actions, grievance review proceedings and grievance review actions. The new Component Society shall solicit further information from the member’s present Component Society concerning such matters. The member’s present Component Society may disclose such information to the new Component Society with or without solicitation from the new Component Society. The application shall then be reviewed promptly by the new Component Society, and acted upon in accordance with the eligibility for membership requirements as set forth in Section 5 of Chapter 1 of the Bylaws; provided, however, that, if the applicant is then under suspension for nonpayment of dues, these dues shall be paid to the new Component Society, and any local or state delinquent assessment must be paid in full to the former component or state society before an application is accepted.
- Orientation of New Members. Information to orient new Active Members of CMS in the duties, privileges, and obligation of membership, shall be provided under the supervision of the Board of Directors in a form the Board deems appropriate to the needs of CMS and its new members, as approved by the Board of Directors.
- Principles of Medical Ethics. An applicant must be provided with a copy of and subscribe to the adopted Principles of Medical Ethics of the Colorado Medical Society 170.989 Code of Medical Ethics (the Colorado Medical Society Board of Directors authorizes the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs to recommend changes in the CMS Bylaws and/or the CMS Policy Manual to reflect adoption of the American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics as the CMS Code of Medical Ethics except where CMS has adopted independent opinions) and shall recognize the CMS Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs as the final authority to interpret any disputed points of ethics.
7. Application by Expelled Physician or Physician Whose License has been Revoked or Suspended
If an applicant shall have been expelled from membership in CMS or from any other constituent of the American Medical Association or the American Osteopathic Association on the basis of misconduct, or if the applicant shall have been the subject of disciplinary action resulting in revocation or suspension of his or her license to practice medicine, in Colorado or elsewhere, or if the applicant shall have been convicted of a felony in Colorado or elsewhere, then the Component Society shall defer action on the application and shall submit the same to the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, with such recommendations, if any, as the Component Society deems warranted, for review by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs may consider the application on the basis of the information submitted or may call for further information, and in due course may approve or disapprove the application. Unless and until the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs shall have approved the applicant’s eligibility for membership, and shall have so notified the secretary of the Component Society, no further action may be taken by the Component Society on the application.
8. Expulsion and Disqualification of Members
- Effect of Conviction of Felony, or Revocation or Surrender Other than by Non-renewal, or Suspension of License. A member who has been convicted of a felony or whose license to practice has been revoked or surrendered other than by non-renewal shall be expelled from membership in the Component Society and CMS automatically, as of the date of conviction or revocation. If any member’s license to practice medicine shall be suspended, such member shall automatically be disqualified during the period of such suspension or surrender other than by non-renewal from exercising any rights or privileges as a member of a Component Society or of CMS; provided, however, that nothing herein shall preclude proceedings before, or discipline (including expulsion from membership) by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs based on the same grounds on which the license was so suspended. This section shall not apply to a member who has been suspended for nonpayment of the annual registration fee as required by law, unless such member shall within 30 days of such suspension fail to have his or her license reinstated, nor shall this section apply to a member whose license is not renewed because of retirement. Any member disqualified under this section, whose license to practice medicine in the state of Colorado has been restored, may reapply for membership in Colorado Medical Society subject to the provisions of Section 7 of this Chapter.
- Effect of License Probation. A member whose license has been placed on probation shall not automatically be expelled or disqualified from membership in a Component Society of CMS; provided, however, that nothing herein shall preclude proceedings before, or discipline by (including expulsion from membership) the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs based on the same grounds on which the license was placed on probation.
9. Termination of Membership
- Expulsion from any Component Society, after due proceedings have been conducted, upon becoming final, terminates membership in CMS of the member so expelled. There shall be no refund of dues or assessments to an expelled member.
- Any member of a Component Society who has been judged guilty by the Component Society of gross misconduct as a physician or a violation of any of the provisions of the Bylaws or principles of professional conduct of that society or of CMS’s code of ethics, may be subject to censure, probation, suspension, or expulsion from that society by such Component Society.
- Censure, Suspension or Expulsion. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, after due notice and hearing may censure, suspend or expel an active constituent member from the Colorado Medical Society for an infraction of the Constitution or these Bylaws, for a violation of the Principles of Medical Ethics, or for unethical or illegal conduct.