Hi AVMA members! One of the most common questions I get is “What does the AVMA President do? Do I travel a lot?” The answer to the second questions is YES, but it is meeting with members’ and is a wonderful opportunity to actually influence veterinary medicine for the decades to come. Back to the first question… I see my role to include three areas:
- Communication to members whether at state VMA meetings, regional meetings, or national meetings, this blog, the monthly newsletter, or by e-mail or phone;
- Leadership at the AVMA Executive Board, Board of Governors, and participation on committees as designated to help shape and influence initiatives for the AVMA, our members, and for the profession; and
- Representation of the AVMA at the global level with attendance at specific international meetings.
This last week, I was doing the third one. A week ago I headed for Cape Town, South Africa, to represent the AVMA at the Presidents’ Assembly of the World Veterinary Association. The WVA has a membership of 76 countries (including the AVMA as the U.S. organization), 13 associate members, and 1 affiliate member. The WVA hosted a continuing education World Veterinary Congress that had 2000 attendees representing over 170 countries. It is working to be the global voice of veterinary medicine around the world, just as AVMA is the voice for veterinary medicine in the United States. The next Congress is in Prague, Czech Republic in 2013. You should come.
I was honored to participate in the Closing Ceremony for World Veterinary Year 2011. What a year it has been!
To quote Nevada Assemblyman Markus Conklin, “Like it or not, we live in a global world. We get up in the morning, have coffee, turn on our Blackberrys, get dressed in our suits, and drive off in our cars, many of which were either grown, made or assembled in another country. International organizations matter.” AVMA is highly (repeat highly!) respected around the world as one of the greatest organizations in veterinary medicine. We have an obligation to meet with our global partners to discuss common interests so we can continue to serve our members and the world in a responsible manner.
Next week, I will be working on the second role – influence and leadership on the Economic Vision Steering Committee working on a national economic strategy to address our economic concerns. Thank you for your membership and your participation.