As any of you know who attended the North American Veterinary Conference, it is a great meeting (although I must say I know you will also enjoy the AVMA convention even more in San Diego in August, but I could be a bit prejudiced!). I will highlight two specific events during my attendance at the NAVC .
- On Sunday, January 15 during the NAVC , AVMA hosted a historic meeting. In attendance were all AVMA Executive Board members and 35 Deans representing all 28 colleges U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine and 7 foreign AVMA Council on Education accredited colleges. Just the tremendous attendance alone signified the tremendous priority given to this meeting. The objectives were to:
- Gain a common understanding of the economic issues, pressures, and stresses felt by the membership of AVMA (veterinarians, employers, and students) and the membership of AAVMC (academic teachers and researchers led by their Deans), and
- To seek solutions to the most pressing issues.
It was a very collaborative and productive meeting with much discussion, however, this meeting was really looked upon as “our first cup of tea” together to begin a long relationship of regular communication on issues that affect the future of veterinary medicine. We did agree on several points even during this very early stage of our scheduled discussions:
- A foundation for dialogue and commitment to work together on behalf of the broader profession;
- A broad spectrum of economic issues, pressures, and stresses as being critical to the veterinary medical profession;
- A joint review of the anticipated (but often delayed) National Academy of Sciences veterinary workforce study which is now promised for release in the very near future;
- A number of potential actions to address the top priority economic issues;
- Participation in additional meetings, the first in March 2012, to develop and implement economic solutions; and
- Commitment to jointly create and release progress reports periodically to the AVMA and AAVMC memberships.
We are committed to working together to assure “veterinary medicine is a personally and financially rewarding profession” and education is a big part of that process. We all have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, we have all endured the rigorous education to achieve that degree, and we are now working as veterinarians for the benefit of animals, people, and society as a whole. AAVMC and the AVMA have committed to meeting again at the AAVMC meeting in March to further our discussions. It was a good day!
2. On Tuesday evening, Dr. Karen Felsted gave a presentation on the Economic Trends in Veterinary Medicine followed by me on the AVMA’s Strategic Plan to address those economic concerns. Even though we competed with free food and prizes next door, we had a good turnout and a lot of questions showing a lot of interest in this topic. We will be presenting the same material at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, so if you are attending the WVC, please be sure to come and engage in the dialogue. Again, we need and want your input.
Finally, it was great to see Dr. Laurel Kaddatz as President of the North American Veterinary Conference as we went to veterinary medical school together in Minnesota (he is one year ahead of me). He and his Board were very accomodating to the AVMA Executive Board for our meeting with the Deans at the NAVC. Thank you, Laurel.