Drs. Larry R. Corry and Gary S. Brown are running for 2008-2009 AVMA president-elect and vice president, respectively. They kicked off their campaigns at the Candidates' Introductory Breakfast, held July 13 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Corry of Buford, Ga., is District IV representative and chair of the AVMA Executive Board. Dr. Brown of Princeton, W.Va., is his state's delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates.
In addition to the candidates' participation in the AVMA, they are also highly engaged in organized veterinary medicine within their states, each having been elected president of his state VMA.
Dr. Corry spoke about the needs of veterinary education and the importance of the AVMA's participation in the political process at the federal and state levels.
Veterinary schools and colleges must increase applicant pools to improve their chances of recruiting the best and brightest students, Dr. Corry said. He advocated for introducing students to veterinary medicine as early as the fourth grade.
"We need to show them that veterinary medicine is not only exciting but also a very rewarding vocation," he said.
Curriculums need to change as veterinary medicine evolves, said Dr. Corry, who noted that college graduation is not the end of a veterinarian's learning experience. Veterinarians need access to high-quality continuing education, he explained, to keep pace with advances in technology and treatments.
Determination is a chief value to Dr. Corry. He recounted how, as chair of the now sunset Task Force on State Legislative Advocacy, he presented a number of the group's recommendations to the Executive Board, but each one was subsequently disapproved.
"I was devastated, but it was then that the real work began," he said. Eventually, the proposals were approved, including a recommendation establishing the AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department, which state VMAs have hailed as an important resource. It is part of the Communications Division.
"If you have a dream, and you don't get it moved forward, just keep coming back with it," Dr. Corry advised.
Dr. Brown spoke about the dual responsibilities of the AVMA vice president, as a voting member of the Executive Board and as the liaison between the AVMA and Student AVMA and student chapters. "These students are remarkable," he noted.
The vice president has a duty to play a role in maintaining the board's fiscal responsibilities while also being a bridge to the profession's future, according to Dr. Brown. He also stressed the necessity for accurate communication with members, calling it a critical component of the AVMA's success and influence.