The Constitution of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons
The name of the Association is the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.
The official seal of the Association shall consist of a figure of a man with a pedicle flap from the arm to the nose, taken from Plate VIII of Gasparis Taliacotii' De Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem, Bindonus, Venice, 1597. This shall be surrounded by the words "American Association of Plastic Surgeons 1921."
The objective of the Association shall be to stimulate and advance knowledge of the science and the art of plastic surgery and thereby improve and elevate the standards of practice of this specialty. The Association shall be the highest medium of recognition in the field of plastic surgery as evidenced by the contribution of its individual members.
The government and management of the Association are entrusted to the Officers and Trustees of the Association collectively called the Board.
Section 1 - Officers
The Officers of this Association shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Historian, all of whom shall be members of the Board. The term of office of President, President-Elect and Vice President will be for one (1) year, and they cannot be re-elected. The terms of the other Officers shall be for one (1) year but these Officers may be re-elected not to exceed a total of three (3) years.
In case there is not a quorum at any Annual Meeting as provided in Article I, Section 4 of the By-Laws, the Officers shall continue to act until their successors have been duly elected.
The Board shall consist of five (5) Trustees elected at large, and the Immediate Past President, as the 6th Trustee. The President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, and a EURAPS member, bring the total membership of the Board to 13 persons. The term of office of the Trustees elected at large shall be for three (3) years, with the terms staggered such that the number of Trustees at large elected at each Annual Meeting will be sufficient to provide a total of thirteen (13) members of the Board. A member who has previously served as a Trustee may be re-elected after an interval of one year off the Board.
Section 1 - Membership
Membership in this Association shall be by invitation only. The members shall be designated as Active, Life or Distinguished Fellows.
Section 2 - Active Fellows
Candidates for Active Fellowship must either be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or hold Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Plastic Surgery. For exceptions, see Article III, Section 3, of the By-Laws. They will be expected to have made outstanding contributions to the field of plastic surgery in the areas of education, research, or clinical excellence.
Section 3- Life Fellow
If an Active Fellow is not receiving income from clinical activity, he/she will be known as a Life Fellow. Life Fellows will not pay dues and will not be eligible to hold office but will be eligible to vote.
Section 4- Distinguished Fellows
Distinguished Fellows shall be plastic surgeons who have made outstanding contributions to the field of plastic surgery in the areas of education, research or clinical excellence. Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is not required. Criteria for selection to Distinguished Fellowship shall include a significant career in plastic surgery, outstanding service to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons or to other national or international organizations as a plastic surgeon and recognized leadership in the education of others in the specialty of plastic surgery. Individuals so honored shall be designated Distinguished Fellows.
AMENDMENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION
The Constitution may be altered, amended, repealed or suspended at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Association by a 2/3 majority of the members present, provided notice of the proposed changes has been communicated to all members thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. The Constitution may also be altered, amended, repealed or suspended at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Association by a 4/5 majority of the voting members present without prior circulation.
MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
Members of the Association shall meet annually, at such convenient time and place as the Board may designate.
Special Meetings of the members may be called by the Board.
Notice of all meetings of the members, Annual or Special, shall be communicated to each member at four weeks prior to the time fixed for the meetings.
Not less than ten percent (10%) of the total voting membership of the Association must be in attendance to constitute a quorum. All questions submitted to the meeting shall be determined by a majority vote of the members present and voting (provided a quorum shall be present) except as herein and otherwise provided. Upon a request of any member, the vote upon any questions shall be by electronic ballot.
Only members of the Association may attend the Business Meetings except invitations to others may be issued upon rare occasions by special vote of the Board. Special guests may be invited to attend clinical meetings, luncheons, and dinners at the time of Special or Annual Meetings.
Order of Business of Annual Meeting (Presidential Deletions Optional)
- Reading of the Minutes
- President's Report
- President-Elect's Report
- Vice President's Report
- Secretary's Report
- Treasurer's Report
- Historian's Report
- Executive Management's Report
- Committee Reports
- Membership Committee
- Program Committee
- Research and Education Committee
- Investment Oversight Committee
- Constitution and By-Laws Committee
- Issues Committee
- Report of Representatives
- American College of Surgeons Board of Governors
- American College of Surgeons Advisory Council
- Old Business
- Meeting Location
- New Business
- Election of Active Fellows
- Report of Nominating Committee
- Election of Officers
The President of the Association shall have the privilege of inviting, with or without the payment of guest fees, such individuals, as he may deem important to the success of the Annual Scientific Meeting. Officers and Trustees may invite up to four (4). Residents and Fellows in Training will be charged an adjusted fee to be established on an annual basis.
MEETINGS OF THE BOARD
The Board includes 13 members. These are the President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, a EURAPS member, and six Trustees one of whom is the immediate Past President.
The regular Annual Meeting of the Board shall be held at the time of the Annual Meeting of the Association. Special Meetings of the Board may be held at such time and place as may be designated by said Board. The President or any two (2) Board members may call Special Meetings of said Board, specifying in such call the time, place, and objective of holding such meeting. Notice of all meetings of the Board shall be communicated to each member at least thirty (30) days prior to the time fixed for the meeting. Such notice may be waived by the unanimous consent of the Board.
Seven (7) Board members shall constitute a quorum.
The President of the Association shall act as Chair of the Board. The Secretary shall act as Secretary and the President-Elect shall act as Parliamentarian.
The Board shall have the power:
- To act as the executive body of the Association;
- To fill the unexpired term of any vacancy occurring on the Board or in any office;
- To consider and make nominations for Active Fellowship from candidates provided by the Membership Committee;
- To make rules and regulations consistent with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association for the conduct of its own meetings and the management of the affairs of the Association; (as outlined in the Operations Manual)
- To consider and name Distinguished Fellows and Honorary Award recipients based on the recommendation of the Honors Committee.
All disbursements and investments of the Association's funds are to be made by the Treasurer with the approval of the Board.
In case of any vacancy in the Board by death, resignation, disqualification, or any other cause, the remaining members of the Board, by affirmative vote of the majority thereof, may appoint a member to fill such vacancy until a successor is duly elected and qualified.
ELECTION OF MEMBERSHIP
Each candidate for membership must be sponsored by two Fellows; one must be from the candidates' community or (if no Fellow resides in his/her community) from his/her region. A Fellow may sponsor for membership five (5) new candidates per calendar year; this right will not be affected by sponsorship of holdover candidates.
The candidate must show recognized contribution of quality in the field of Plastic Surgery as a prerequisite to membership as demonstrated by academic and clinical accomplishments, leadership potential and contributions to plastic surgery;
No person may be proposed for membership before five (5) years after that person's certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or certification in Plastic Surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. An exception to ABPS certification may be made in instances where an outstanding person widely recognized for competence and contributions and offering national leadership in a specialized area of Plastic Surgery may not be board certified but may still be deemed worthy of election to membership. This should include outstanding specialty surgeons with unique qualifications who have made substantial contributions, as well as distinguished foreign plastic surgeons. (see Operations Manual)
The completed applications including signatures by two sponsors of those individuals proposed for Active membership must be submitted to the executive office by August 1 for consideration at the Annual Meeting of the following year. The Membership Committee will review the applications for completeness and compliance with the By-Laws and evaluate qualifications for membership. The President will distribute to the membership, in the fall newsletter, a list of received applications. The membership committee will also make appropriate inquiries on a regional basis about the suitability of the candidate for Active membership.
A pre-balloting rating procedure shall be distributed electronically to all members of the Association. The members of AAPS will have the opportunity at this point in the process to include pertinent information on particular candidates and will be encouraged to submit any concerns for a candidate in this pre-balloting form. By September 1 each year, the Board shall submit to all members the names of persons proposed for membership including the biographical data on each, degree of teaching efforts, contributions to the scientific literature, and activity and leadership in civic and medical affairs including on a regional basis. This information will also include a paragraph by the sponsor(s) of the particular attributes of the candidate under consideration.
By October 1 the members shall return to the Secretary the computed rating of those proposed for membership. The Membership Committee will present to the Board the results of the membership ratings at the interim Board Meeting. The Board shall prepare a slate of proposed candidates for membership based upon information obtained from the pre-balloting rating procedure and other pertinent information. The Board may delete from the slate the name of candidates for membership but cannot submit additional names. The Secretary shall submit the ballot to the membership via email for a final vote. No comments or concerns will be permitted on this virtual ballot. A three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the members is necessary for election to membership. The Secretary shall inform each member of the Association and the newly elected members of the action taken by early-January. Newly elected members will then be invited to attend the upcoming Annual Meeting.
All newly elected members shall receive Provisional Membership Status and shall be expected to pay an initiation fee and annual membership dues immediately after election to membership. In order to move from Provisional Membership Status to Active Member status, newly elected members must attend the next year’s Annual Meeting to receive their Membership Certificate and be welcomed by their fellow AAPS members during the Introduction of New Members during the Opening Ceremonies. Participation in the Opening Ceremony to be introduced and welcomed into the Association is both an honor and an obligation. In extraordinary circumstances, a one-year waiver of this requirement may be granted provided the Provisional Member has submitted to the Board, in advance, a formal request for an excused absence citing the specific reasons for the waiver. If the Board approves the request, a second year of Provisional Membership shall be granted. The AAPS recognizes that there may be certain times when an additional exception to the attendance requirement may be necessary, and on a case by case basis, a third year exception may be made. In no case will Provisional Membership be extended on an ongoing basis; failure to attend an Annual Meeting following election shall result in revocation of Membership. Reapplication for membership shall not be allowed.
The power of electing Distinguished Fellows and Honorary Award recipients shall be vested solely in the Board.
At each interim Board meeting, the Chair of the Membership Committee shall present approved new member applications to be considered for membership that year. The Board will establish the number of new members to be recommended to the membership as a guideline based upon an acceptable percentage of practicing plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (e.g., if there are 6,400 such surgeons, the Association could elect 0.5% or 32 new members). The Board must approve the slate of new members prior to consideration by the membership.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Nominations for all vacant Trustee positions and Officer positions, except the President, President-Elect, and the Trustee position to be held by the Immediate Past President, shall be made by the Nominating Committee and the membership with additional nominations submitted from the floor. Voting members present at the Annual Meeting of the Association shall elect the Officers. A written ballot will be used when there are two (2) or more candidates for an office. New Officers’ terms of office shall begin immediately following the conclusion of the Annual Meeting.
In case of a vacancy occurring in any of the elective offices by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy may be filled by nomination by the President and majority vote of the Board until the next Annual Business Meeting of the members.
DUTY OF OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES
Section 1 - President
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and at all meetings of the Board. The President may make motions but will not ordinarily vote. In the event of a tie vote on any question, the President shall cast the deciding vote. Subject to the Board, the President:
- shall be the principal executive officer of the Association;
- shall have general charge and supervision of the affairs of the Association;
- shall appoint committee chairs and members as designated in the Operations Manual;
- shall appoint such special committees as he may deem necessary or proper, with such duties as he may designate;
- shall be the Association’s liaison to international and other plastic surgery groups on all intersocietal issues;
- shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board, or as may be incident to his/her office (see Operations Manual).
Section 2 - President-Elect
The President-Elect shall be vested with all powers and shall perform all the duties of the President in the event of the latter's inability to act and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board.
The President-Elect shall automatically assume the duties of the President when the President completes his/her one (1) year term of office. The President-Elect shall act as Parliamentarian at all meetings of the Board and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board.
The President-Elect shall direct the annual update of the Operations Manual as confirmed by the Board and make committee appointments as noted in the Operations Manual.
Section 3 - Vice President
The Vice President shall automatically assume the office and duties of the President-Elect when the President-Elect assumes the office of President. The Vice President shall make committee appointments as designated in the Operations Manual and shall present a report to the Board at the Interim Board meeting.
Section 4 - Secretary
Subject to the Board, the Secretary shall ensure that:
- general charge and custody of the books, papers, and records of the Association are kept;
- the minutes of the meetings of the members and of the Board are kept and distributed;
- all correspondence is generated appropriately;
- all notices of meetings of the members and of the Board are sent;
- all members are notified of their status as Active, Life, or Distinguished Fellows and see that an annual membership list is maintained;
- the names of all who ceased to be members since the last Annual Meeting are announced at each Annual Meeting of the Members
Section 5 - Treasurer
The Treasurer shall supervise the financial affairs of the Association including oversight of staff management of:
- the funds, receipts, and disbursements of the Association;
- collection of all dues, fees, and other demands owing to the Association;
- maintenance of the books of account, showing receipts and disbursements;
- check writing and orders for the payment of money, pay out and dispose of the same, and invest certain funds of the Association as the Board shall direct;
- make a full report of the financial affairs of the Association at each Annual Meeting;
- present a balanced budget for the next fiscal year for Finance Committee review 90 days prior to the beginning of the fiscal year for Board approval at its Interim Meeting.
Section 6 - Historian
The Historian shall maintain and safeguard archives of the Association. The Historian shall be a member of the Board.
The term of the Historian shall be for one (1) year, but they may be re-elected not to exceed a total of three (3) years.
In case of a vacancy occurring in any of the elective offices by reason of death, resignation or otherwise, the vacancy may be filled by the Board until the next Annual Meeting of the members.
The Historian shall keep a continuous account of history of the Association for the use of the membership. This shall include significant information concerning each Annual Meeting, including the site of the meeting, recipients of Honors, invited Lecturers, highlights of the Scientific Program and important actions arising from the Business Meeting. The Historian shall also record significant action of the Board at its meeting. Each three (3) years, the Historian shall prepare the history of the Association from the time of the last recorded history to be part of the Archives of the Association. This chronicle shall be offered via the Secretary for publication to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Memorabilia of the Association will be retained by the Historian and upon his/her recommendation to the Board and their approval, shall be offered to the Archives of Plastic Surgery at Countway Library, Harvard Medical School. Material is to be sent to the National Archives of Plastic Surgery, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115.
Each Active Fellow shall pay an initiation fee at the time of their admission to membership. In addition, each Active Fellow shall pay annual dues. All amounts (dues and initiation fees) so collected shall be confirmed annually by the Board and shall be payable in United States currency and shall be applicable to the payment of the general expenses of the Association. The amount of the annual dues and/or initiation fee may be raised or lowered in any year by recommendation of the Board. Life (retired) Fellows pay no dues.
The Treasurer shall send to any Active Fellow whose dues shall be more than ninety (90) days in arrears a statement thereof and in the event payment is not made within sixty (60) days thereafter such Fellow may, by resolution of the Board, be dropped from membership.
The fiscal year shall begin on January first each year. Notice of membership dues will be mailed in early December, and dues will be payable by January 10.
Active Fellows who are diplomats of the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or hold Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Plastic Surgery (FRCPS) must maintain full diplomate status with the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or hold Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Plastic Surgery at all times. If, for any reason, a member loses full diplomate status, his/her Active Fellow status shall be terminated without exception. Members have a duty to inform the AAPS of any actions taken by the ABPS or RCPS.
Sturgis' Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure will be followed at all meetings of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.
COMMITTEES OF THE ASSOCIATION
Standing committees of the AAPS shall include:
- Awards Committee
- Constable International Traveling Fellowship Committee
- Constitution and By-Laws Committee
- Development Committee
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Ethics Committee
- Investment Oversight Committee
- Issues Committee
- Honors Committee
- Joint AAPS/EURAPS Committee
- Membership Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Research and Education Committee
- Scientific Program Committee
- Scientific Program Awards Committee
- Technology Committee
- Women in Plastic Surgery Committee
Section 2 - Committee Composition
- Committee chairs and members shall be appointed annually by the President, President-Elect, and Vice President (see Operations Manual) except for the Nominating Committee.
- Each committee chair and Officer of the Association will be responsible for an annual report related to review and possible revision of the Operations Manual as it pertains to their respective committee or office. The report shall also contain information regarding work done by committee members such that performance can be considered at the time of new committee appointments. This report will be due at the time of the Annual Meeting and will be sent to the President, with copies to the President-Elect and Secretary. The President-Elect will collate and review any changes for Board consideration and approval at the time of the Annual Meeting. Once ratified by the Board, the revised Operations Manual will be changed and made available by the central office to all Officers and committee chairs.
Section 3 - Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall be composed of six members. The Chair shall be the immediate Past President without vote, the previous past president, two members elected by the Board at its Annual Meeting and two members elected at the Annual Business Meeting.
AMENDMENT OF THE BY-LAWS
The By-Laws may be altered, amended, repealed, or suspended at any Annual or Special Meeting by a 2/3 majority of the members present, provided notice of the proposed changes has been communicated to all members 30 days prior to the meeting. They may also be altered, amended, repealed at an Annual or Special Meeting by a four-fifths majority of the voting members present without prior circulation.
Revised: June 2021