Salaries and Service

Dear Colleagues,

As veterinarians, we rely on countless resources to provide animals the best possible care. Take a moment to think about where we’d be without safer drugs and anesthetics, the arthroscope, or ultrasound, MRI and CT technology.

We’re in the resource business here at the AVMA, as well. We’re always looking for new ways to help educate and inform both you – our members – and the public. Recognizing that time is always precious these days, we try to make as many of these resources as easy as possible to access, and there are few tools better equipped for that than our Web site.

So read on to learn about some of our latest endeavors. After that, let your fingers do the walkin’.

Salaries are Up

According to our latest Biennial Economic Survey, veterinary incomes are up across the board, but some sectors of veterinary medicine are doing better than others. For AVMA@Work subscribers who are interested in the numbers, we’re offering a Webinar with highlights of the results on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. CST, focusing on the veterinary compensation portion of the survey. There’s no cost to attend, but there are a limited number of slots available, so hurry and reserve your spot today by going to We hope to “see” you there.

Also on Nov. 18th, income benchmarks will be updated in our hugely popular Veterinary Salary Calculator. This resource lets members calculate how their salaries compare to those of their colleagues based on a number of career factors, including type of practice, species served, ownership status and experience. If you want to see the whole picture, the full survey results will be available that day for purchase as either a downloadable PDF or soft-cover book.

At Your Service

Wondering how long you have to keep veterinary records after a patient stops coming to your clinic? Looking for the name and contact information of your state veterinarian (PDF, 359 Kb)? Does a client have questions about traveling abroad with their pet? If you’re looking for answers to these types of questions and many more, turn to our new Veterinary Practice Resource Center. This newly launched section of our Web site provides one-stop shopping for up-to-date information that isn’t always easy to find, and much of it comes straight from the horse’s mouth by linking you directly to important Web sites.

If you have the time, take a tour of the site and see what it has to offer. If you need info in a pinch, the Veterinary Practice Resource Center will be there for you – 24/7, 365 days a year.

First Aid Tips for Pets

We’re trained to deal with animal emergencies, but most of our clients are not. That’s why you and your staff members often find yourselves giving tips and advice over the phone before a client brings their pet to see you. You probably have plenty of first-aid information in your practice as well, things like posters, brochures and other handouts. Well, we can provide you – and more specifically – your clients with even more help.

We launched a new “First aid tips for pet owners” Web page last month that adds a lot to what you’re already doing. Geared for pet owners, the page includes first-aid basics and links to topics such as what first-aid supplies should be handy, how to handle an injured pet and some basic procedures and precautions.

The launch of the site coincided with an appearance on the “Today” show by Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a California small-animal practitioner and Chair of the AVMA Council on Communications. As Dr. Cruz stated, having a basic knowledge of pet first aid is an important component of responsible pet ownership, but she also reminded viewers that such knowledge is no substitute for a visit to the veterinarian.

Animal ID

With food safety such an important and timely topic for American consumers, it is unfortunate that this country doesn’t have a reliable, dynamically updated animal and premises identification system that allows us to track food animals throughout the production process. If Dr. DeHaven and I can borrow from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a program like the National Animal Identification System would help “protect the health of U.S. livestock and poultry and the economic well-being of those industries.” Taking it one step further, by protecting the animals and the producers, we also protect ourselves.

That is why the AVMA is working closely with APHIS to promote the National Animal Identification System and help inform all the benefactors – veterinarians, producers and consumers – about its importance. The AVMA House of Delegates showed its commitment to animal ID by unanimously approving a resolution during our Annual Convention in July that reaffirms AVMA support for a national system. The importance of animal ID can’t be understated – diseases affecting livestock can be life-threatening to the animals and people who rely on them for food.

In the coming months, we will be intensifying our collaboration with APHIS to spread the word about animal ID, and we invite you to learn more about the program, regardless of where you live or what type of veterinary medicine you practice.

Euthanasia Panel Working Groups

When it comes to AVMA influence, few documents match our AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (PDF). This exhaustive report on acceptable euthanasia techniques is regularly cited as the authoritative source on the subject.

We are about to review and update our guidelines, and we could use your help. We are seeking nominations for membership in working groups that will contribute to the next edition of the guidelines, and we invite you to nominate yourself or others who might be interested in assisting in this challenging task. Working groups for which nominations are sought are inhalant agents, non inhalant agents, physical agents, equine, food animals (large animals, poultry), zoo/wildlife (including reptiles and amphibians), birds, aquatics (fish, marine mammals), companion animals (dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians), laboratory animals (rodent, nonrodent, primate), and depopulation. Nominations are also sought for an ethicist, who will engage with the working groups to provide that perspective.

Those selected for the working groups don’t have to be veterinarians, but they must demonstrate expertise in particular euthanasia techniques or the application of those techniques to various animal types, species or uses.

As veterinarians and human beings, it is our responsibility to ensure that if an animal’s life is to be taken, it is done with the highest degree of respect, and with an emphasis on making the death as painless and distress free as possible. If you are interested in helping update one of the most significant, influential documents the AVMA produces, submit your nomination to by Dec. 31. For more information contact our Animal Welfare Division at 847-925-8070, Ext. 6635.


Cook signature DeHaven signature
James O. Cook, MS, DVM
W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

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