Question of the Week

I recently started taking minutes at Medical Executive Committee meetings, and the Chair told me that it’s very important to record who made a motion, and who seconded it.  It makes me nervous because I’m new and don’t know the names of everyone, and sometimes two or three members second a motion.  Help!

There’s no reason to record who made a motion and who seconded it – that’s too much detail.  The reason to keep minutes is to record the actions taken at a meeting.  A lot of hospitals we work with don’t want to put anything in the minutes, and other hospitals want to put everything in the minutes – both make it hard to figure out what happened at the meeting.  Minutes aren’t supposed to fit on a 5 by 7-inch index card, but they aren’t supposed to be a transcript of a meeting either.  The most important thing that minutes should do is to record the actions taken at a meeting.  So, for motions, what is important is that a motion was made, and that it was seconded – who made it and who seconded it are just too much detail.