The Policy Compendium is comprised of policy statements regarding medical and ethical issues addressed by the Iowa Medical Society. The American Medical Association (AMA) also publishes a policy compendium, and the policy categories used here are those of the AMA. As a general rule, AMA policy guides the IMS where IMS has not taken a specific position. This compendium is arranged by major policy categories. Within each category, policies have been given a number and title for easy reference. The designation B-, E-, H-, or PF- at the beginning of a policy number denotes the original policy-making body for that policy: B – Board of Directors; E – Executive Council; H – House of Delegates; or PF– Policy Forum.
The Iowa Medical Society compendium incorporates policies adopted pursuant to resolutions by the IMS House of Delegates (HoD) and Executive Council through 1998 and, following IMS reorganization, by the House of Delegates and the Board of Directors from 1999 to 2014. Going forward from the 2014 HoD, it incorporates Policy Request Statements adopted by the Policy Forum.
The 1998 reorganization of the Iowa Medical Society dissolved the Executive Council as of the 1999 HoD and established the Board of Directors, which was vested with the full authority and power of the House of Delegates to determine and announce policies of the Society in the interim between meetings of the House of Delegates. The 2014 HoD took action to permanently close the HoD as of adjournment of the 2014 HoD and replace it with a Policy Forum. Going forward, policies will be adopted pursuant to action by the Policy Forum in response to Policy Request Statements submitted by IMS members. There will be at least two Policy Forums per year. Wherever possible, the verbatim language of resolutions, reports, and Policy Request Statements has been retained with technical edits where appropriate. In some instances, there may appear to be inconsistencies between two or more policies on the same topic. In this case, the most recent policy supersedes any contradictory earlier policy.
In 2011, IMS established a Sunset Mechanism for IMS Policy. Under this mechanism, a policy established by the Executive Council, House of Delegates, Board of Directors, or Policy Forum ceases to be viable after 10 years unless action was taken by the HoD or the Policy Forum to reestablish it. Any action of the HoD or Policy Forum that reaffirmed or amended an existing policy position resets the sunset "clock," making the policy viable for 10 years from the date of its reaffirmation or amendment.