When it comes to issues involving public health, animal health and animal welfare, veterinarians have unparalleled scientific expertise and experience. This knowledge is critically needed in public policy discussions to ensure lawmakers make smart decisions. As part of our work to elevate the voices of veterinarians, the AVMA brings veterinarians to Washington, D.C., as congressional fellows, to spend a year in the office of a member of Congress advising on policy issues.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 AVMA Congressional Fellowship Program. This program is a unique opportunity for veterinarians to help guide public policy; protect, promote and advance the veterinary profession; gain valuable policy experience; and build your professional network. Recent fellows have worked on issues ranging from health information technology to aquatic animal health; AVMA’s three 2015-2016 congressional fellows served in the offices of U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.). For a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a fellow, check out this video on the experience of Dr. Elise Ackley.
If you’re interested in bringing your veterinary expertise to Capitol Hill, we encourage you to fill out the fellowship application before the February 10, 2017 deadline. You can also read our FAQ page here.
The fellowship program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place qualified, scientific experts in congressional offices where they are needed. To date, more than 60 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA Congressional Fellowship Program.