Running a Successful EMIG Meeting
Three key components to having a successful Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) are to set realistic goals, maintain communication and stay organized. In large part, each of these components can be acquired through regular meetings with your EMIG. The following questions and responses serve as suggestions and employ concepts used in a formal, rather than casual, meeting format. This content is not exhaustive, but is meant to provide the basic structure and principles ensuring that your EMIG meetings are a success.
II. WHY ARE MEETINGS IMPORTANT?
- Meetings provide a time and place where EMIG members can plan, discuss and make decisions regarding various activities, events and governing affairs
- Meetings enable all participants to voice their concerns and opinions regarding their EMIG
- Meetings provide a foundation of accountability amongst participants
III. WHAT ROLES SHOULD PARTICIPANTS HAVE TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL MEETING?
- Leads group through the agenda ensuring time allotments are followed
- Creates and distributes agenda at least 24 hours prior to meeting
- This role may be held by one person (i.e. President) or may rotate throughout the year
- Records highlights of agenda discussion and future plans including name/task assignment and respective deadlines or timelines
- Composes and distributes “minutes” within one week of meeting
- This role may be held as an official position or as part of the duties within another
- position (ex. Vice President)
- Time‐Keeper (optional)
- Keeps track of suggested time‐limits for topics as outlined in the agenda
- This role can be rotated with each meeting or as part of another position
- Room acquisition; refreshments; technology access
IV. WHAT ARE AGENDAS AND MINUTES?
- Defines why you are having the meeting and what is to be accomplished
- Should include brief recap of previous meeting
- See attached document (Sample Agenda for Running a Successful EMIG Meeting )
- Documents highlights of agenda discussions and plans
- Emphasizes steps, names of participants involved and respective timelines to accomplish future goals
- See attached document (Sample Minutes for Running a Successful EMIG Meeting )
V. WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Generally, meetings should only be attended by those holding elected or voluntary positions (ex. President, Co‐chairs, Secretary, Committee Chairs, Faculty Advisor)
- Meetings with the entire EMIG can also be held to discuss the group’s upcoming events in addition to benefits of EMIG involvement (beginning of each year)
VI. HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE MEET?
- Depending on school schedules, REGULAR meetings should be held every other week or once a month
- To ensure maximal attendance and reduce scheduling conflicts, meetings should be prescheduled, with each meeting preferably occurring at the same time, on the same day of the week and in the same location
- More frequent meetings reduces the need to have long meetings with burdensome agendas
- The main point here is to have meetings on a recurring and CONSISTENT basis
VII. WHAT ARE COMPONENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL MEETING?
It is suggested that meetings be formalized. Since each participants’ time is valuable, they will appreciate forehand knowledge of topics to be discussed as well as sufficient structure to ensure that time schedules are respected.
Don’t just meet to meet
- Meetings should follow a set agenda with pre‐determined goals
Have well‐defined topics and goals for the meeting
- Goals should be read at the beginning of the meeting
- Certain topics should be addressed, at least briefly, at each meeting: finances, membership numbers, upcoming events
Focus on main topics
- Avoid spending too much time on the details of minor topics
- Discussion of such topics can often be continued in smaller groups or via email
Enable and encourage group involvement and ownership
- This enhances the sense of a successful meeting
- Ensure that everyone has a chance to share their ideas
- Encourage participants to submit ideas to facilitator prior to meeting
- Facilitators are encouraged to ask specific members for their input
- Facilitators can pre‐assign certain individuals to discuss their involvement in relevant topics (see Sample Agenda )
Stay on schedule
- Starting and ending on time encourages future attendance and participation
- Use agenda and pre‐determined time allocations to move through the meeting
- New topics arising during the meeting should not be forbidden, but should be submitted to the group to decide if time should be used to discuss the new topic