Aardvarks to Zebras

Dear Colleagues,

How much do you think the public knows about the breadth of veterinary medicine? Do they appreciate – or even understand – how important veterinarians are when it comes to protecting not only animals, but people and the environment, too?

Aardvarks, Zebras, Tom, Rick and Mary
In an effort to promote the vital role veterinarians play in protecting every species – and the world they inhabit – we recently launched Aardvarks to Zebras, an ongoing campaign that targets the general public to let them know the full spectrum of veterinary involvement in both human and animal health.

The underlying message is that veterinarians help people, too. It’s a message that can help us promote veterinary medicine careers to young folks and their parents, and it can also help us in the public policy arena.

We want our message to be memorable, but it also needs to be clever, catchy and simple. So we created posters and a Web site that places human beings within the realm of the animal world, which helps illuminate the idea of veterinarians in public health roles. The elements of our 2009 campaign include the launching of our Web site, outreach to teachers, dioramas in airports – beginning with Minneapolis and Denver – and the placement of banner ads on the Internet.

If more people understand how important veterinarians are to society as a whole, it is our hope that they might be inspired: Inspired to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or emboldened to urge their legislators to support legislation that’s important to veterinary education, veterinary medicine and public health.

(More Than) A Few Good Veterinarians
Times are tough in this economy, but the recession shouldn’t keep you from looking for qualified applicants to fill that vacant position at your practice, your school or in your industry. You’ve probably used the myriad online job boards that are out there in your search, but did you know the American Veterinary Medical Association has a targeted, focused job site strictly for the veterinary profession? And by the way, there are plenty of candidates out there, with the number of people applying for jobs through the site nearly double the number of job postings.

The AVMA’s Veterinary Career Center (VCC) is available to job seekers and employers around the clock. Its advanced search capabilities help you find prospective hires in virtually every veterinary field, including academia and industry. Looking for a vet tech or support staff personnel? Their resumés are also online and searchable when you have an active job posting. And the whole service is affordably priced, with a special offer running until Jan. 31.

One of the unique features of the VCC is the Convention Connection. If you’re headed to the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 15 through Feb. 19, Convention Connection allows you to post your job on the site before you arrive and while you’re there, making it easy for job seekers to contact you and set up an interview. So, if you’ll be in Vegas for the WVC, now might be the time to place your ad if you’re looking for a new veterinarian to join your staff.

See You in Seattle
July may seem light years away this time of year, but it’s not too early to think about registering for the 2009 AVMA Annual Convention, which this year is being held July 11 #&8211; July 14 in Seattle, Wash. Advance registration opened Jan. 15 and runs through April 13. By registering early, you can save money and book your hotel before the rush.

New to the convention this year is a two-hour lunch break that will allow convention attendees more time to get a bite to eat, visit local shops and explore the exhibition hall. Just like in years past, we have plenty of special events to entertain the entire family. Comedian John Pinette will make you laugh during the Fort Dodge Comedy Kickoff, and singer Natasha Bedingfield headlines the Merial Concert Series. Bringing some local flair to our Hill’s Opening Session are members of the unique fish-flinging staff from the Pike Place Fish Market, who will share their insights about working as a team and creating a niche in your market.

Tune in to AVMA Ed
When we told you last month about the launch of AVMA Ed, our new online continuing education experience, we were excited about being able to give you something that you asked for. Well, not only did you ask for it, you followed through and are really using it. Already, visitors from 35 countries have come to the site, looking for continuing education that is easy to access from a home or office computer – 24/7, 365 days a year.

AVMA Ed is not only an opportunity to learn, it also allows you to earn continuing education credit in the process. Since its start December 1, we’ve added new sessions and will continue to enhance the lineup in the future. So thanks for coming, and we hope to see you back in “class” soon.

Shaping the Profession
We’ve recently made it easier for you to learn more about AVMA volunteer leadership opportunities and to peruse upcoming vacancies on AVMA councils and committees, and in other important areas. The new Web site is quicker to navigate and spells it all out for you with five links that can help answer all your questions. More than 450 volunteers serve on more than 30 AVMA councils and committees, conducting important work on behalf of our members and helping set policy in all areas of veterinary medicine. Nomination deadlines begin Feb. 2, so if you’re interested in one of our vacancies, please check out the new site today.

Stamp of Approval
It’s no small feat for a college of veterinary medicine or a veterinary technician program to successfully navigate the waters of the accreditation process. So, in recognition of the institutions’ ability to meet these rigorous requirements, the AVMA is making available to the programs accreditation logos from the AVMA Council on Education (COE) and the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

The program started in December, and about 20 schools and vet-tech programs have already requested a logo, which can be used on business cards, stationery and forms, building signs, and promotional and informational materials and brochures.

These logos are just one more tool in helping the profession promote the value of educational accreditation and to help ensure that the AVMA COE and CVTEA accreditation processes remain a premier standard around the world.

Here’s hoping that the new year finds you well, and that we’ll see you at our 146th Convention come July.


James O. Cook, MS, DVM
W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

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