A diverse veterinary profession is a strong veterinary profession, better positioned to meet the challenges that come our way and better equipped to meet the needs of all those we serve. In fact, excellence in our profession requires diversity. That’s why the AVMA is committed to helping build a more diverse veterinary workforce.
I think our fine AVMA news staff said it best in the introduction to a wonderful series on diversity just published in the Feb. 15, 2010, issue of the JAVMA: “From improving communication with clients to providing a better understanding of cultural attitudes and practices that affect animal care to recognizing how differences in gender attitudes affect the work environment, diversity touches every aspect of the profession.”
Dr. DeHaven and I consider this series essential reading, and we hope you’ll take the time to explore this meticulously researched, insightful look into diversity within the profession and how each of us contributes to the profession as a whole. We also hope that it sparks conversation both now and in the future when we host our sixth annual AVMA Veterinary Diversity Symposium August 2 during our Annual Convention in Atlanta.
Does diversity and awareness of other cultures have a place in your professional life? Should it? If you have any doubts, perhaps this statement from one of the JAVMA articles will help you answer the question: “You can’t promote the activities you need for diversity by preaching to the choir. We need everyone to understand this is everyone’s issue.”