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Physician Delegates Gather to Discuss Policy at TMA’s 189th House of Delegates and Annual Meeting


NASHVILLE, TENN. — Nearly 200 physicians gathered on Saturday, April 6, in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for the Tennessee Medical Association’s (TMA) 189th House of Delegates and Annual Meeting. Delegates discussed business of the association as well as legislative policy for the upcoming year. 

Delegates debated resolutions brought before the House throughout the day and successfully addressed key topics important to Tennessee physicians and patients. The 2024 House of Delegates took action within the following five areas of concern. 

Preserving the integrity of physician-patient communications
Delegates reaffirmed the importance of upholding the ethical and professional obligation of physicians to exercise their medical judgment and decision-making in the best interests of patients without outside interference or penalty.

Ensuring physician autonomy in hospital settings
Delegates debated perceived conflicts associated with physicians employed in the hospital setting with a renewed focus on the physician’s bill of rights. The abolition of the corporate practice of medicine was discussed as a method to address the shortage of physicians in rural communities with further review and action being referred to the TMA Board of Trustees.

Supporting children’s health and mental health
Delegates discussed the importance of protecting the overall health and wellbeing of youth by reducing their consumption of sugary drinks and limiting their use of digital devices and social media. The importance and future viability of the Mature Minor Doctrine was reaffirmed as a TMA policy to ensure unemancipated minors retain confidential access to medical care from their physician.

Protecting physicians' ability to provide evidence-based maternal healthcare
Delegates resumed discussions related to family planning and reproductive health with a focus on protecting access to IVF treatment and mitigating unnecessary harm to pregnant patients when a fatal fetal anomaly is diagnosed.

Preparing for the emergence of artificial intelligence in medicine
Delegates explored the role of artificial intelligence in an increasingly complex healthcare system to assess how its implementation should be integrated into medical practice while retaining physician autonomy. The body referred further review and action to the TMA Board of Trustees.

For the full report of final actions taken by the House, click here. 

Landon Combs, MD, a Ballad Health pediatrician from Gray, Tenn., was appointed the 170th President for 2024-2025, and Andrew Watson, MD, a Memphis Cardiologist, became the Immediate Past President. Trey Lee, MD, President and CMO at Real Time Neuromonitoring Associates in Nashville, Tenn., was elected Speaker of the House, and Kirk Stone, MD, a Family Practitioner from Union City, Tenn., was elected Vice Speaker of the House. Newly-elected members of the Board of Trustees and Judicial Council were also installed.

Several awards were distributed during the meeting. Physicians receiving the TMA’s Outstanding Physician Award included Dr. Tedford Taylor, nominated by the Washington-Unicoi-Johnson County Medical Society, and Dr. Hugh Francis III, nominated by the Memphis Medical Society.

TMA’s annual gathering provides Tennessee physicians the chance to enact real change through policy debate. All TMA regions were represented and spent time discussing the resolutions up on the House floor. 

The Tennessee Medical Association is a nonprofit professional organization for Tennessee physicians. TMA represents more than 10,000 Tennessee physicians and physicians-in-training. The organization advocates for public policies, laws and rules that promote healthcare safety and quality for all Tennesseans and improve the nonclinical aspects of practicing medicine. Learn more at