Leading our profession into the future

As he prepares to wrap up his one-year term as AVMA President, Dr. Tom Meyer has been reflecting on his experience and what the AVMA has accomplished during his tenure. The following is excerpted from his “President’s Column” in the July 1, 2017, issue of JAVMA. We encourage you to read the full column in the journal.


Being your president has been one of the great honors of my life. It’s a demanding position that brings with it a tremendous amount of responsibility and an occasionally grueling travel schedule. Yet, if I could turn back time, I’d do it all over again. This journey has been an incredibly rewarding experience that I will carry with me forever.

Pres_MeyerDuring my short tenure as your president, we have accomplished much together. Among the things I am most proud of are our new initiatives to help improve the wellness and well-being of our veterinary colleagues. From the launch of QPR (“Question, Persuade, Refer”) training earlier this year to our new LinkedIn Community on Wellness & Well-being and our new cyberbullying resources, our wellness initiatives and our drive to help lead the way toward improved well-being are providing new support and services to our colleagues in need.

Our focus on veterinary economics and practice profitability is providing cutting-edge resources and continuing education programs that help ensure every veterinarian finds the profession to be personally and financially rewarding.

As technology continues to bring both challenges and opportunities to the practice of medicine, we are leading the charge to address the issue of telehealth so that you are well supported and primed for success when delivering veterinary telehealth services to your patients and clients.

As society places more emphasis on, and asks for a greater commitment to, fighting antibiotic resistance, the AVMA is a major player at both the federal and professional level to ensure judicious use in the best interests of animal and human health.

And we continue to champion the cause of building bridges with organizations across disciplines in the true spirit of One Health.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe has embarked on a Vet Futures initiative that aims to put the profession in control of its future, to develop a confident profession, to speak with one voice to the public and to government officials, and to stop just talking to each other.

My way of saying it is: “Do you want to own your profession? If not, then someone else will!”

It’s important to be involved in organized veterinary medicine and have input into our future. You can help define that future by volunteering for a leadership role with the AVMA. We are continuously looking for new faces on our policy-making councils, committees and task forces, and I challenge you to join in this important work. Look through the AVMA’s current volunteer opportunities, and join us in helping protect, promote and advance veterinary medicine.

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