The Annual Convention is a highlight of our year, bringing together thousands of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, students, colleagues and guests. And even if you weren’t able to attend this year’s convention in Atlanta, rest assured that your interests – and those of the entire profession – were well-represented and served as the focus of our activities. For while the convention is finite in its longevity, what happens there and what the convention stands for is woven into the fabric of what we – the AVMA – do for you every day.
Diversity is certainly a topic that generated great interest at the convention. Our Sixth Annual AVMA Diversity Symposium, We Are AVMA, provided a wonderful opportunity to further our objectives in helping spread the valuable word about what diversity means to the profession and why it matters – from expanding your outreach into the community you serve to boosting your bottom line.
We had a strong turnout for the half-day session that included members of academia, veterinary practitioners and AVMA leaders. We were honored to be able to hear representatives from the American Dental Education Association, as well as the American Association of Medical Colleges, tell us what they’re doing to enhance diversity in their fields. Both groups serve their constituents much in the same way the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges serves ours. And one thing was crystal clear after they spoke: The American Dental Association, the American Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association all share the same challenges – and opportunities – when it comes to diversity in our respective fields.
What was probably most inspiring, though, were the insights provided by AVMA members into how we can better incorporate diversity initiatives into our strategic goals – advocacy, workforce, education, animal welfare and economic viability. We were all there for the same purpose – to help weave diversity into our future plans and objectives with the stated purpose of building a better profession.