An early-career veterinarian sees rewards in serving and connecting with peers
Members who volunteer their time and expertise to support and carry out the AVMA’s work help us protect, promote and advance the veterinary profession in myriad ways. Volunteers also grow and experience success of their own.
AVMA’s volunteer leaders find satisfaction in supporting their fellow veterinarians, and in influencing the profession through policy-making and development of products that help their colleagues. AVMA volunteers also connect with colleagues in new ways. This makes volunteer opportunities rewarding for veterinarians at every career stage, including early-career veterinarians—like Dr. Robin Hansen.
Serving others has been a mission for Dr. Hansen since childhood. Now, as a veterinarian, she has found satisfaction and reward in volunteering with the AVMA.
“I grew up in a service-oriented family,” says Dr. Hansen. “My parents were involved with service projects at the school, running our Girl Scout troop, and my dad is a lifetime member of our local credit union’s board of directors. … Volunteering was a strong thread woven into the fabric of my childhood.”
“I took that with me to college and volunteered at the animal shelter and with campus clubs. Once I got into vet school, it was easy to be overwhelmed by classes and labs, but I knew that volunteering would keep me grounded. As a student delegate for SAVMA (the Student AVMA), I got to see how important the volunteer’s voice is for our organization,” she adds.
Bringing her passion and energy to the AVMA as a volunteer was a natural transition after her graduation from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011.
“When I started volunteering with the AVMA, I saw how important it was for our profession,” says Dr. Hansen, now a member of the AVMA Early Career Development Committee. “AVMA can’t work without input from the volunteers. I get to influence real projects and products that support my fellow veterinarians. I get to meet vets from all over the country, from all types of practice and non-traditional practice also.”
By volunteering, Dr. Hansen has the chance to take a step back from day-to-day veterinary work and make a larger impact on the profession. In doing so, she has the support of colleagues she has met through her AVMA volunteer work.
“This is a profession built on passion – passion that, at times, is too much for one person to handle alone,” says Dr. Hansen. “I volunteer for the AVMA because I see it as the organization that makes sure we have the protection and the support that our ambitious career paths have set us on.”
Watch Dr. Hansen tell her own story in the video below, and consider joining her in serving your colleagues with the AVMA. As a volunteer, you can help shape the direction of the AVMA and your profession; influence key issues affecting veterinary medicine; and meet new colleagues and forge valuable, lasting relationships while giving back to the profession. If that’s an opportunity that excites you, see the volunteer positions currently open—applications for positions on AVMA councils are due July 1!
You also can view this video on YouTube: Volunteering with the AVMA: Serving Veterinarians, Making Connections, Having Impact.