Many of our challenges as veterinary professionals are broad-reaching and complex: emotional and physical wellbeing, diversity, economic viability – to name just a few. One critical strategy needed to solve them is to bring together all affected parties to work together. By joining hands across the profession, we’re better able to identify and implement solutions that work.
The AVMA’s diverse membership – more than 91,000 members representing every facet of veterinary medicine – allows us to leverage many unique talents and perspectives to create a sum that is greater than the total of its parts. And just as member voices make us stronger, so do the many partnerships that we form and maintain with other organizations.
These partnerships, both within and beyond veterinary medicine, help us create new tools and define new paths for veterinarians, and strengthen and celebrate the profession that we all love. Because of the AVMA’s unwavering and unbiased dedication to serving the veterinary profession, we’re able to bring together disparate partners to work toward a common cause. Here are just a few examples:
Human-Animal Bond: We partner with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) to align and integrate our work in support of better understanding and improvement of human-animal relationships. HABRI’s chief executive serves as a non-voting liaison to the AVMA Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions, and the AVMA participates in HABRI at the trustee level. We’re also proud to be a founding educational partner for the Human-Animal Bond Certificate Program offered through HABRI and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC); the AVMA contributes high-quality educational content and promotional support, and AVMA members receive a 20 percent discount off the cost of the program.
Veterinary Wellbeing: The AVMA recently partnered with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and Zoetis to host the 2018 Veterinary Wellbeing Summit, convening about 175 veterinary professionals, students and mental health experts to explore practical strategies for improving both personal and workplace wellbeing. This is just one of numerous partnerships we leverage to improve veterinary wellbeing. Among the others, we’ve joined with AVMA Life and AVMA PLIT to offer free suicide prevention training to AVMA and SAVMA members; and we’ve worked with Merck Animal Health researchers to enable the first-ever study measuring veterinary wellbeing by using widely accepted scientific models and a truly representative population sample.
Economic Initiatives: Improving the financial outlook of veterinarians is a top priority for the AVMA, and we work with partners across the profession on tools and initiatives that make a difference. In the Veterinary Debt Initiative, we’ve joined with groups including the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE) to implement creative and practical solutions to reduce veterinary debt. Our annual economic summit brings together experts from all veterinary sectors to report research data and examine practical financial strategies. We also worked recently with VetVance to release a series of financial literacy videos, and our economics team contributes regularly to DVM 360 magazine on topics ranging from debt to practice management tips.
Diversity and Inclusion: June is LGBT+ Pride Month, and we’re very proud of our partnerships with the Pride Veterinary Medical Community (formerly LGVMA) and other organizations that promote and enable diversity and inclusion across the veterinary profession. We collaborate with the Pride Veterinary Medical Community to support veterinary students and professionals who identify as LGBT as well as LGBT clients in our communities. Our partnership with the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI) strengthens our shared commitment to support women in developing leadership skills, as does our alliance with Western Veterinary Conference in sponsoring the Women’s Veterinary Summit, which will be held July 22-23. We’re also working with WVLDI to test and roll out a new set of speaker training resources to help all AVMA members hone their public speaking and media skills.
Advocacy: We partner with our members’ state and specialty veterinary associations to help them monitor legislative and regulatory activity in all 50 state capitols. In fact, last year we sent more than 1,100 legislative and regulatory alerts to these allies. At times we also join forces with non-veterinary partners when they share our perspectives and it helps to advance issues important to veterinary medicine. For example, we work with animal agriculture groups to improve the FDA approval process, and we partnered with a broad coalition of retailers to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to let state and local governments treat online and traditional retailers the same regarding requirements to collect sales tax. We also work with a very broad group of professions to preserve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which helps retire student loan debt for veterinarians who choose careers in public service.
Time and again, the AVMA brings together industry and private partners to work as one on veterinary medicine’s most complex challenges. With them, we chart a better path forward for veterinary medicine – creating change that improves veterinarians’ daily lives. Learn more about how partnerships help fuel the work of the AVMA at avma.org/partners.