This week I was privileged to attend the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and Washington Veterinary Medical Association‘s 100th anniversary celebrations. They were both celebrating the organization of their state VMAs in 1911. Think about it. This was just before World War I, and just before the swine flu epidemic of 1918-1919 that killed 675,000 Americans and over 50 million people worldwide. We can be very proud or the accomplishments of organized veterinary medicine in these two states and the vision of their founders over 100 years ago. I cannot emphasize the importance of belonging to your state VMA organization. I always tell veterinary medical students what has kept me so excited about veterinary medicine for over 34 years in practice is my involvement in organized veterinary medicine. It keeps you on the cutting edge of our profession, not to mention the wonderful people you meet. Belonging to my state organization (Wisconsin) has taught me about the value of volunteerism, legislative advocacy, parliamentary rules of order for meetings, and teamwork towards a common goal. Please join your state VMA as it is your immediate family in veterinary medicine. AVMA is also important in that it is your extended family in veterinary medicine. We cannot advocate on behalf of animal welfare or animal health, and the connection to human health, unless we have a strong membership.
I am currently in Cape Town, South Africa attending the World Veterinary Congress. I am representing the AVMA in the World Veterinary Congress Presidents’ Assembly. This organization represents 140 countries in its efforts to practice world quality veterinary medicine, and hopes to raise the bar in worldwide veterinary medical education and accountability to good veterinary practices in animal movement and disease.
Congratulations to Kentucky (Louise Cook, ED) and to Washington (Candace Joy) VMAs for their 100 years and I wish them many more successful years.