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Amended by the
34th World Medical Assembly, Lisbon, Portugal, September/October 1981
126th Council Session, Jerusalem, Israel, May 1990
50th WMA General Assembly, October 1998
WMA General Assembly, Washington 2002
WMA General Assembly, Helsinki 2003
WMA General Assembly, Durban 2014
WMA General Assembly, Taipei 2016
and the
WMA General Assembly, Chicago 2017

1. Associate members shall be limited to physicians, as that term is defined in the WMA Bylaws (Section 1c (i) of Chapter I), and medical students who are properly enrolled in a medical school which the Council determines is a recognized medical school in the country in which it is located, who have applied for such membership and who have paid the amount of dues prescribed for such members. Associate membership is available to such individual physicians and medical students whether or not their National Medical Association is a Constituent Member of the World Medical Association.

2. Applications for Associate Membership shall be obtained only from the WMA directly, or from a National Medical Association that is a Constituent Member of the WMA. The application should be returned, with the proper amount of membership dues, to the WMA or to a National Medical Association that is a Constituent Member of the WMA.

3. Associate members shall receive an appropriate membership card, a subscription to the World Medical Association’s Journal (WMJ) and such other benefits as the Council may approve. Associate members may attend open meetings of the WMA General Assembly upon payment of the registration fee therefor, and upon request and approval the representatives and alternates of the Associate Members may attend open meetings of the World Medical Association Council. Attendance at all such meetings shall be at the expense of the Associate Member.

4. The Associate Members shall elect a Chairperson from its own number present at the Assembly. The Chairperson shall preside over meetings of the Associate Members. If the Chairperson is absent, the Associate Members shall elect one of their own number present at the meeting to preside over that meeting.
The Chairperson shall serve for a term of three years, and shall be eligible for reappointment or re-election at the pleasure of the Associate Members, provided that he or she meets the qualifications for Associate Membership.
If the Chairperson resigns from associate membership, or if his or her associate membership is terminated, the term of the Chairperson shall automatically expire. At the next Associate Members meeting, the Associate Members shall elect a new Chairperson, whose term of three years shall commence at that meeting.

5. Immediately prior to each meeting of the WMA General Assembly, there shall be a meeting of those Associate Members present at the Assembly. The meeting shall be scheduled and arranged by the Secretary General, and the order of business shall be as follows:
a) If the term of the Chairperson has expired, there shall be an election by the Associate Members present of a Chairperson to conduct the meeting. The Secretary General or his designee shall be available throughout the meeting to advise, assist and counsel the members.
b) Discussion of the Agenda of the Assembly.
c) Proposal of motions to bring before the Assembly.
d) Election by the Associate Members present of two representatives and two alternates to the Assembly who hold a diploma or degree in medicine recognized by the National Medical Association of their country as required by Chapter III, Section 3A of the Bylaws.
e) Other business for discussion.
f) Adjournment.

6. Only those motions approved and adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Associate Members present at the meeting of Associate Members may be presented to the Assembly for consideration. The representatives at the Assembly elected by the Associate Members shall have the right to speak in the Assembly, but shall not have the right to introduce additional business, nor to introduce an amendment, nor to make a motion, nor to vote.

7. If a proposed motion and its supporting background documents deal with substantially the same subject matter as another proposal or proposals that has or have been previously considered during Associate Members Meetings within the preceding 5 calendar years, it may be excluded from the official documentation for any meeting held within 3 calendar years of the last time it was included if the proposal received:
7.1 Less than 5% of the vote if proposed once within the preceding 5 calendar years;
7.2 Less than 10% of the vote on its last submission to the Associate Members Meeting if proposed twice previously within the preceding 5 calendar years; or
7.3 Less than 15% of the vote on its last submission to the Associate Members Meeting if proposed three times or more previously within the preceding 5 calendar years.

8. The Secretary General shall administer all matters relating to Associate Members, and may delegate duties and responsibilities relating to Associate Membership to the Regional Secretaries.

9. The Council may reject any application for Associate Membership without cause. Rules Applicable to WMA Associate Membership AM1/Oct2017

10. The Council may terminate the membership of any Associate Member for cause. Cause for termination of membership shall consist of any action by the member that is inconsistent with WMA purposes and objectives, or action that tends to bring the WMA or the medical profession into disrepute, or tends to harm the reputation of the WMA in any way. Prior to terminating the membership of an Associate Member for cause, the Council shall invite the member to respond in writing to the complaints alleged against the said member. The Council shall consider the member’s response, if any, in making its decision.

11. Associate Members may not represent the WMA in any capacity without the express prior authorization of the Council or by the Chair of Council.

12. Medical students and junior doctors (on graduation as physicians for a period of five years) will be granted Associate Membership of the WMA. No membership fee will be charged, but no products, services or publications (except electronic publications) will be provided to these members. In addition, these members will not have the right to vote.

13. As from October 2014 Past Presidents and Past Chairs of Council will be granted life Associate Membership of the WMA. No membership fee will be charged. These members will have the right to vote.


Rules applicable to CONSTITUENT MEMBERS

Taken from Chapter 1 – Membership; Articles and Bylaws of the World Medical Association, Inc. (Document 32.2/Oct2016).

Section 1.  Constituent Members

It is the goal of the World Medical Association to expand its membership to be representative of all the countries of the world. National Associations of Physicians (sometimes referred to herein as National Medical Associations) shall be eligible for Constituent membership in the Association, provided that each such National Medical Association meets the following criteria:

A)      Such association is broadly representative of the physicians of the country by virtue of its membership.

i)   Membership in the national medical association is available to all licensed physicians in the country.

ii)  The bylaws of the national medical association provide for a system of representation that includes opportunities for all physician members to participate in establishing the policy of the association.

B)       Such association is not an agency or office of the government, nor shall it be subject to or controlled by any office or agency of government.  However, the fact that it may be subject to specific laws which are designed to limit or regulate the association shall not disqualify the applicant. The Council shall determine that the applying association is free to represent the professional interests of its physician members within the country, without political or governmental interference or control.

C)       Such association’s policies and activities reflect the professional interests of physicians by limiting its voting membership to physicians and medical students.

i)    For purposes of this section a physician is defined as one who has received a contemporary education in medicine and who holds a diploma or a degree in medicine from an educational institution recognized by the National Medical Association of his/her country, and who is licensed to practice medicine in his/her country.

ii)    A National Medical Association that includes dentists in its membership shall not be disqualified from membership in the Association, provided that:

a)    There is no separate National Association for dentists within the country, and

b)    Dentists-Members of the National Medical Association shall not have the right to vote on matters affecting the World Medical Association or on matters of policy within the National Medical Association which may come before the World Medical Association.

D)      Only one National Medical Association from each country shall be eligible for membership, with the exception that an additional National Medical Association from that country may become a member under the following conditions:

i)      If a separate customs territory exists within a country and the regulatory authority for the customs territory exercises exclusive legal and regulatory authority over the licensing and credentialing of physicians practicing within the territorial limits of the customs territory, and

ii)      The physicians in the customs territory are represented by a medical association that has been a Constituent Member of the World Medical Association for seven years or more, and

iii)     The medical association represents and continues to represent physicians of the customs territory only, and

iv)      The medical association meets and continues to meet the criteria specified in this Section 1.

The term “country” throughout these Bylaws shall mean “customs territory” for members qualifying under these conditions.

E)       Subject to Subparagraph D, the Council shall not accept an application from a National Medical Association in any country already represented in the World Medical Association by a National Medical Association. If applications are received from two or more National Medical Associations from a country not already represented in the WMA, the Council shall recommend to the General Assembly the one applicant that best meets the criteria for Constituent Membership contained in the Bylaws.

Section 2.  Admittance into Constituent Membership

Applications for Constituent Membership shall be made in writing to the Council and shall include copies of the current governing documents of the national medical association, such as, but not limited to, the Charter, and Articles and Bylaws of the Association. Applicants should be prepared to provide such other and further information and documentation as the Council may request. After appropriate study and investigation, the Council shall make a recommendation to the General Assembly. The affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the General Assembly present and voting shall be necessary to admit a candidate organization into Constituent Membership in the World Medical Association.

Section 3.  Obligations of Constituent Members

In addition to any other duties or obligations provided for in these Bylaws, each Constituent Member association shall:

A)      Do all in its power to promote knowledge of, and an active interest in, the objectives and work of the Association;

B)       Reply to inquiries and questionnaires from the Council as quickly as possible or within the time limit specified by the Council; and

C)       Keep the Council informed of any events or developments in its country that may be of interest to the Association.

Section 4.  Discipline

On receipt of a complaint from a constituent member that the conduct or policy of a constituent member is detrimental to the honor and interests of the medical profession, to the Association, or to another constituent member, or is calculated to bring the profession into disrepute, the Council shall submit said complaint to the constituent member concerned for a response.  If deemed appropriate, the Executive Committee shall gather additional information and conduct an independent review of that information.  If an Executive Committee member is a member of either the complaining party or the subject of the complaint, or has any other real or perceived conflict of interest, he or she shall be excused from participating in any effort by the Executive Committee to gather or assess information. The complaint, the reply received, and any information obtained by the Executive Committee shall be considered at the next meeting of the Council, at which representatives of both parties shall be given the opportunity to speak.  At least four months notice shall be given to each party of the time and place of the meeting. The proceedings of the meeting, however, shall not be invalidated by the absence of a representative of the defendant association, if due notice has been given. If it is determined by the Council that the complaint has substantive merit and requires action by the subject of the complaint the aim of this process is to correct the substantive content of that complaint and resolve any dispute. If the Council wishes to recommend disciplinary action, after due consideration of all the information and if efforts for dispute resolution are unsuccessful, the Council shall provide a written report to the General Assembly, including all necessary documentation related to the matter. In no event shall disciplinary action imposed by the General Assembly be greater than the penalty recommended by the Council in its report.

Section 5.  Termination of Membership

A)      The Council, after notice to the Constituent Member concerned may, at any time, advise the General Assembly that the Constituent Member no longer meets the criteria established in the Bylaws and that its membership should be revoked. The Council shall specify the basis for its conclusion, providing specific information and evidence to support it.  The General Assembly may either accept or reject the Council’s advice.

i)         If the General Assembly rejects the Council’s advice, the matter is terminated and the National Medical Association in question shall retain its Constituent Membership. However, no such rejection by the General Assembly shall prevent further advice from the Council at a later date.

ii)       If the General Assembly accepts the Council’s advice, it shall direct the National Medical Association in question to respond to the specific basis of the Council’s contention at the next meeting of the General Assembly, at which time the General Assembly will hear such evidence and argument as it deems appropriate, and shall then determine by vote of the General Assembly whether the National Medical Association meets the criteria for Constituent Membership or not. In no event shall membership be terminated prior to the end of the calendar year.

B)       In the event that a constituent member has not paid its dues for two consecutive calendar years, the Secretary General shall formally notify such constituent member in writing that its membership may be terminated unless payment is received within 90 days. The Secretary General shall attempt to ascertain the reason for non-payment and may, at his/her discretion and in consultation with the Chair of Council and the Treasurer, provide a one year extension for the dues payment or make other suitable arrangements to help the member avoid termination.  The Council shall be informed of those constituent members that have been terminated for failure to pay dues.

C)       Voluntary resignation by a member of the World Medical Association shall be made in writing and shall become effective upon receipt by the Secretary General.

D)      A Constituent member that has voluntary resigned, or has been terminated for non-payment of dues, may not return to membership except by compliance with the provisions of Chapter I, Section 2 of these Bylaws.

Section 6.  Other Classifications of Membership

Upon recommendation of the Council, the General Assembly may establish such other classifications of membership as may be deemed to be appropriate and in the best interests of the Association. The rights and privileges as well as the dues for such other classifications of membership shall be established by the General Assembly pursuant to the recommendation of the Council.