Collaborating to make a global impact

Are you a small animal practitioner who is collaborative, friendly, open, honest, likes to travel, and is interested in international affairs?

If so, you’re just the kind of veterinarian that Dr. Laurel Kaddatz sees taking on the mantle of AVMA liaison to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) when he steps down from the post in July.

Dr. Laurel Kaddatz moderates a discussion group during a WSAVA forum on One Health in Colombia.

“The important thing is being able to work together to come to a consensus to reach a common goal,” says Dr. Kaddatz, hospital director at Pound Ridge Veterinary Center in Pound Ridge, N.Y. Dr. Kaddatz developed an interest in collaborating with veterinarians from other countries and regions while volunteering with other AVMA committees. He also was familiar with WSAVA and its mission “to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers.” So it was a natural fit for him to become the AVMA’s first liaison to WSAVA in 2012.

Dr. Kaddatz is now finishing his second term as AVMA representative to WSAVA and is pleased by the impact he has had. One accomplishment that makes him especially proud is having been able to make WSAVA’s global pain guidelines available to AVMA’s members as a resource on the AVMA website. He adds that the AVMA is in the process of reviewing WSAVA’s global dental guidelines.

Participation in WSAVA is important for the AVMA, according to Dr. Kaddatz, who stresses the value of being “at the table” internationally.

“Whether considering standards of care, effects of drug availability, commonality in regulatory issues, or other things that affect small animal vet practices, there is an importance to AVMA interacting with like-minded associations working for better animal care everywhere and serving the needs of the patients in our calling,” he says. “AVMA has more than 91,000 members, and a high percentage of those are small animal practitioners, so it’s important for the AVMA to be involved in that conversation.”

Dr. Kaddatz recommends the WSAVA liaison position for AVMA members interested in broadening their involvement and perspective worldwide. Applications for the position for the 2018-2021 term are being accepted through March 8, 2018. In addition to serving as the primary AVMA representative to WSAVA, the liaison also serves as a voting member of the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs. A full description of the position, along with qualifications and the nominating form, can be found on our web page listing AVMA committee, trust and liaison positions seeking volunteers.

“Personally it’s been a fantastic experience to meet and work with this group of veterinarians,” says Dr. Kaddatz. “I’m most happy for whatever contribution I could bring into these international relationships.”

His belief in the value of reaching out internationally includes expanding the worldview of younger veterinarians, as practitioners around the world share a great deal. “No matter where you go – from New York to Copenhagen, Bangkok to Cape Town – veterinarians have similar issues,” he says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *