Demographics and Damages

Dear Colleagues,

Wow! What a response. Thousands of you are now active subscribers to AVMA@Work. Dr. DeHaven and I want to applaud you for showing such a strong interest in your Association’s activities. Thanks for signing up and staying informed. Now how about telling a friend? Click here to forward this month’s issue to your colleagues.

December is a special month in many ways. It marks the end of another year, when we pause and reflect on our accomplishments. It’s a time of celebration, when we gather for the holidays with family, friends and colleagues.

This year, December also marks the release of our 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, a wonderful reference tool that provides valuable information and insights about the U.S. pet population. From the human-animal bond and how it influences spending on pets, to the racial and ethnic diversity of pet owners, the Sourcebook is the destination for information on who owns pets, the number and types of pets people own, and pet owners’ behaviors when it comes to seeking veterinary care. We use the Sourcebook here at headquarters, and in our council, committee and Executive Board meetings, to understand the utilization of veterinary services and how client behavior affects the economic health of the profession. The information allows us to take a look at big-picture items, like … are pet owners seeking the appropriate care for their pets. Government agencies also rely on the data to ascertain pet populations around the country and how they may impact human and public health. The Sourcebook can be purchased by going to Softcover versions cost $189 for members ($279 for nonmembers), plus shipping and handling. A downloadable PDF version is available for a $15 discount, and no shipping and handling.

A group of veterinary students and their faculty advisors recently met at AVMA headquarters for the annual Faculty Advisor – Student Leader Conference, which was hosted by our Membership and Field Services Division. The day-and-a-half conference helps strengthen the bonds between students, their colleges and the Association. Dr. Charles Hendrix, AVMA vice president, Dr. Richard DeBowes, an associate dean at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Lyle Vogel, AVMA assistant executive vice president, met with the students to learn more about their experiences in today’s veterinary school and to encourage them to continue in their leadership roles. These students are the future of veterinary medicine, and the conference helps each of us by further developing the skills of an impressive group who are already showing a commitment to advancing our profession.

As we continue to reach out to veterinary students in an effort to forge new relationships within the profession, we are also trying something new by extending our outreach to students in other academic arenas. Adrian Hochstadt, assistant director of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, and Dr. Robert Nichols, assistant director of our Governmental Relations Division, recently accepted an invitation from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., to talk about animal law with a group of law students. Adrian and Robert, who discussed the issue of noneconomic damages as they apply to cases of pet death or injury, reported back that the students were receptive to the AVMA’s views on the issue. Our policy states that “Any extension of available remedies beyond economic damages would be inappropriate and ultimately harm animals. Therefore, the AVMA opposes the potential recovery of noneconomic damages.” Both Adrian and Robert said the visit was “eye-opening,” in that it confirmed a real opportunity for AVMA to explain the rationale behind our policies and promote them to law students who will influence the ultimate outcome of these issues as potential future policy-makers. That’s encouraging, and it provides a basis to look forward to exploring the opportunity to address and discuss these issues with other law students nationwide.

When it comes to enhancing your own knowledge of veterinary medicine and keeping up-to-date on the latest technologies and advancements, there are few things as critical as continuing education. There is a lot of CE out there, and it’s offered around the country throughout the year at state, specialty and national conferences. If you haven’t already, take a look at available CE hours through our new online Meeting Planning Calendar, a convenient, one-stop shop for all your CE needs. The site serves meeting and CE organizers too. They can submit information regarding their event at no charge by completing an online submission form. Many people have already taken advantage of this improved service. In August, only the second month of using our new format, the calendar received almost 26,000 hits, a 10-fold increase from June. So don’t be left out of the loop. Go to the calendar today.

Membership in the AVMA gives veterinarians access to special pricing on products or services from partner companies. Lands End Business Outfitters offers 10 percent off their orders of Lands End products embroidered with practice or veterinary logos. A special AVMA member online store is at Until this Friday, December 14, AVMA members or their staffs can also receive free shipping on any Lands End order through the company’s consumer catalogue. Use source code “AVMA” and pin number “529252925” at checkout to receive free shipping. Another AVMA partner, Subaru, gives members special pricing on cars through a VIP Purchase Program, offering savings between $1,300 and $3,300 off MSRP for most 2008 models. For more information on the Subaru VIP program go to or call the AVMA at 800-248-2862 Ext. 6631 to get your VIP certificate before visiting a Subaru dealer.

Last month’s AVMA@Work generated some very thoughtful feedback on a number of issues. We thank you for taking the time to contact us, and we appreciate your input. Because of the volume and the nature of the inquiries, we can’t respond to all of them in this newsletter. But be assured that your comments have been forwarded to the right people here at the AVMA for their consideration during our ongoing deliberations.

Happy Holidays!


Hammer signature DeHaven signature
Gregory S. Hammer, DVM
W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA
Executive Vice President

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