A Very Promising 2012

The year 2012 promises to be a turning point for the veterinary medical profession and the AVMA.

As AVMA president, I spend a lot of time scheduling travel to regional, national and international meetings, as well as responding to e-mails. However, the majority of my time is spent listening to member concerns through a variety of methods and in thoughtful planning with other members of leadership to better reach our AVMA strategic and economic vision statements. 

Our AVMA strategic plan vision statement is both simple and powerful. It states that “The American Veterinary Medical Association engages and empowers its members to be the premier authorities and leaders in veterinary medicine.”  That means the AVMA no longer dictates information to members, but rather that AVMA serves its members so that you are engaged and empowered to be the authorities and leaders in your communities on veterinary medicine. That is a new AVMA. 

Our AVMA economic vision statement is also very simple, that “Veterinary medicine is a personally and financially rewarding profession.” 

In 2011, we laid the foundation for both of these visions to become reality. Now the real work begins.

  1. The AVMA 2012-2015 Strategic Plan has five critical areas of priority. We have assigned goal teams and goal managers, and an Executive Board member to each goal. 
  2. We have initiated steps for a national economic strategy and have appointed members to the new Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee as part of that strategy. 
  3. We are in the process of hiring a director for the new AVMA Veterinary Economics Division. 
  4. We are meeting with AAVMC leadership and our veterinary school deans to discuss the overall economic challenges of the veterinary medical profession both in terms of the challenges our educational systems are facing and those our graduates and members are facing.
  5. We are in the process of appointing a Task Force on AVMA Governance and Membership Participation to look at the governance structure of AVMA and how we can improve our service to members and engage all members more effectively in this new world of instant communication and technology.
  6. We are in the process of appointing members to the Task Force on Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation, which will look at the role and process of foreign school accreditation by AVMA’s Council on Education. 

Earlier this month, we hosted the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference. This meeting occurs every January, usually in downtown Chicago about the first weekend after the New Year’s holiday. It includes a meeting of the AVMA Executive Board, a networking event for recent graduates (less than five years since graduation) and emerging leaders (5-15 years since graduation), a House of Delegates meeting, and a variety of workshops for state VMA executive directors and officers. The VLC is open to anyone wishing to attend. It’s a great meeting for networking with leaders and members from across the country, and for inspiring new leadership at all levels. I would urge you to consider attending our next Veterinary Leadership Conference, which will be held Jan. 3-6, 2013. Ask your state or allied association about it. You won’t regret it and will most certainly get hooked on all the enrichment you experience! 

Thank you for your membership and participation in your AVMA. AVMA offers you a special community. Happy New Year and best wishes for a rewarding 2012, both personally and professionally.

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