Regardless of the myriad factors that might set us apart from one another, we all have to be engaged if we are going to be on the same page. Here at the AVMA, we base a lot of what we say and do on what we hear from our members. We value your input and we regularly seek it out.
Take, for example, the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, which we host each year in January. The VLC is designed to bring veterinarians together so that they can network and participate in educational workshops designed to improve leadership skills and address the challenges we face, hopefully turning them into opportunities for the veterinary profession.
At our most recent VLC, we invited a group of members to participate in informal discussions that allowed emerging leaders in the profession to exchange concerns and ideas with members of AVMA leadership. These young professionals, most of them just out of veterinary school, talked about the state of the profession and the direction we are headed. In the end, participants had plenty to say.
We focused on three topics: clinical proficiency of new graduates, the importance of economics in clinical practice and new graduate attitude about preventive pet healthcare. The variety of opinions expressed were representative of participants’ varying experiences, and everyone brought something unique to the table.
The result of these discussions was eight, single-spaced pages of notes. Now we are incorporating many of those comments and suggestions into everyday business here at the association and building just as many into strategic discussions that focus on some of our primary areas of concern, including veterinary education, veterinary economics and member engagement. We’re also sharing the insights with groups such as the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, as we continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to advance and enhance the profession.
We want to thank the emerging leaders who participated in the roundtable discussions. Your input is invaluable. Your expertise is appreciated. And your commitment to veterinary medicine is second-to-none. We look forward to hosting even more emerging leaders next year, when we once again gather for the Veterinary Leadership Conference.