A second term for President Bush means new opportunities for veterinarians to work in the highest levels of federal government.
Turnover is common after every presidential election, and the Bush administration will likely need to fill vacancies in the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, as well as in the Food and Drug Administration, national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies.
Recognizing that veterinarians are uniquely qualified for many of these positions, the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee wanted to encourage AVMA members to take advantage of this important opportunity and consider applying for these vacancies.
"We have to seize the opportunity, because there will be several positions veterinarians can fill better than anyone else in other professions," explained Dr. John Melcher, an adviser to the LAC and the AVMA Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C.
"We should encourage members of our profession to be interested in these slots," he continued, "because when it comes to public health, it's so important that veterinarians are involved. Epidemiology is best accomplished when veterinarians are there on the spot."
Dr. Melcher said, "We're talking about opportunities for veterinarians to get into positions of importance and responsibility.
"This is the chance for veterinarians to make a unique gain in the decision-making process in the federal government."
Candidates for these positions will have an interest in a particular field and a desire for public service, he added.
"We're not talking changing jobs simply for the sake of doing so," Dr. Melcher explained. "We're talking about veterinarians with the background and experience to understand a particular position and know they have the best capability to perform there and succeed."
Qualified AVMA members interested in learning more about these opportunities and wanting the AVMA's endorsement and support should contact GRD director, Dr. Michael Chaddock, at (800) 321-1473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.