November 01, 2008

 

 10 reasons to be a member of the AVMA - November 1, 2008

 
posted October 15, 2008
 

The AVMA is far more than a journal publisher or convention organizer. For veterinarians who want more reasons to value their membership or become members, here are 10.

1 

Advocacy:
The AVMA advocates for laws, policies, and regulations that benefit the profession and the public. Below are some recent examples:

  • The AVMA is lobbying to allow people to use pretax payroll funds to buy pet insurance.
  • Work continues toward implementation of the National Veterinary Medical Service Act, a loan repayment program that was passed but remains unused because of lack of rules and regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • The AVMA is also working to get equal pay for federal veterinarians who perform nearly identical civilian and uniformed government jobs as physicians, who are often paid more.
2

Educational standards
AVMA activities enhance the value of the veterinary medical degree.

  • The accreditation process encourages continuous improvement in schools and colleges by establishing contemporary performance standards and providing an external group to help veterinary schools and veterinary technology programs meet or exceed those standards.
  • The Council on Research establishes research priorities for animal health research and works to develop new funding sources for researchers.
  • The Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates determines the educational equivalence of foreign veterinary graduates and certifies their eligibility to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.
  • The Committee on International Veterinary Affairs advises the Executive Board on the AVMA's potential role in global issues related to veterinary medical education.
3

Voice of the profession
AVMA policies guide international, federal, and state policy and regulatory actions regarding food safety, environmental concerns, and human and animal welfare.

  • The AVMA provided in September testimony before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee to preserve the use of antimicrobials to relieve animal pain and suffering while maintaining their effectiveness.
  • Analysis and comments on regulatory proposals guide government actions on issues such as the planned Environmental Protection Agency survey of drug disposal practices at veterinary offices.
  • AVMA policy encourages responsible use of practices such as drug compounding, which the policy states should be used only when prescribed by a licensed practitioner to meet needs of an individual patient.
4

World-class professional knowledge
AVMA publications, in print and online formats, keep veterinarians up-to-date on developments in the profession, identify new practices, improve their businesses, and make informed professional decisions.

  • JAVMA provides peer-reviewed information on veterinary clinical studies, news of the profession, and feature articles.
  • AJVR gives in-depth, peer-reviewed coverage of advances in applied veterinary medical research.
  • The AVMA Membership Directory & Resource Manual, which is available online and in print, helps members contact colleagues and organizations and provides a wealth of information about the AVMA, the profession, government, and academia.
5

Continuing education and networking opportunities
The AVMA continually strives to make continued learning easier for veterinarians and to provide forums for colleagues to exchange ideas.

  • The 2008 AVMA Annual Convention included nearly 1,200 continuing education presentations over a four-day span and brought together nearly 8,000 attendees.
  • Veterinarians will soon be able to fulfill continuing education requirements online.
6

Guidelines
Guidelines provided by the AVMA help maintain public confidence in the profession and provide leadership for veterinarians, veterinary organizations, and public policy makers.

  • The Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA help ensure the dignity of the veterinary profession by encouraging veterinarians to first consider patients' needs, obey laws, remain honest, increase knowledge and skills, protect the privacy of patients and clients, and engage in numerous other practices that advance care and the profession.
  • The AVMA's policies and guidelines help veterinarians make decisions on hundreds of subjects ranging from pregnant sow housing to the use of animals to test the safety of medical products for humans.
7

Volunteer opportunities
AVMA members can become leaders through organized and individual activity.

  • Participation on councils, committees, advisory boards, and task forces of the AVMA give veterinarians opportunities to provide input on the positions and direction of the profession.
  • The AVMA Political Action Committee, Government Action Center, and Congressional Action Network give members the means to advocate for the veterinary profession and support government officials who do the same.
  • The AVMA VMAT teams are made up of volunteer veterinarians who can provide onsite assessment of veterinary infrastructure and basic emergency medical care to animals that are victims of local, regional, or state disasters.
8

Support for future colleagues
The Student AVMA has 29 chapters, more than 10,000 members, and opportunities for students to help shape their futures and the future of their profession.

  • The AVMA volunteer leadership includes Student AVMA representatives or liaisons to the Executive Board, House of Delegates, two task forces, one council, and seven committees.
  • AVMA externships give veterinary students opportunities to advocate for their profession and meet with veterinarians working with and for the U.S. government.
9

Member-only benefits and services
Member-only benefits and services

  • The AVMA PLIT provides policies that cover business property, liability, mobile practitioner coverage, umbrella liability, workers' compensation, commercial automobiles, flood compensation, license defense, student liability, and board member protection.
  • The AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust is designed by veterinarians and provides medical plans, disability income insurance, term life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, basic protection packages, hospital indemnity insurance, and professional overhead expense plans. The trust also makes long-term care, dental, and small group medical plans available for practice employees.
  • AVMA affinity programs offer members discounts and benefits from Lands' End, Bank of America, Chase, Alamo Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Subaru, Atlas World Group van lines, Framing Success framers, and Garnay, Inc., which makes bronze AVMA emblems.
10

Promoting veterinarians to the public
The AVMA reaches out to national news media as well as the public to show the contributions of veterinary medicine to human and animal health.

  • Weekly podcasts, public service announcements, audio news releases, and national observances on topics such as pet wellness, obesity campaigns, and pet dental health month raise public awareness about veterinary medicine.
  • Information provided through www.avmatv.org, www.keepourfoodsafe.org, and www.aardvarks2zebras.org helps the public, animal lovers, pet owners, and potential veterinary students learn about veterinary medicine and opportunities within the profession.
  • AVMA Health News Bytes provides ideas to journalists and encourages them to report on the impact of veterinary research on public health.
  • The AVMA Web site gives members and the public alike resources on veterinary practices, accomplishments, news, and services.