August 15, 2012

About two-thirds of AVMA members in a recent survey indicated they were satisfied overall with the Association, and 10 percent were dissatisfied. Only about half think the Association’s governance structure gives them a voice. The AVMA Member Needs Assessment Survey is based on responses from 2,600 veterinarians and 300 fourth-year veterinary students. AVMA leaders indicated the AVMA should improve communication with members and consider the survey results in examining its services.

AVMA

The AVMA website has thousands upon thousands of pages of content, along with free member discussion boards, but many members are unfamiliar with the breadth and depth of the Association’s online resources. Now the Association has redesigned www.avma.org to make it easier for members to find the information they want and to interact with other members and the AVMA.

Issues

A recent report concludes that the Department of Homeland Security inadequately characterized the risks connected with operating a proposed facility for animal disease research. The National Research Council for the National Academies published in June a report that indicates Homeland Security likely underestimated many risks, such as those associated with facility operations, and overestimated others, such as the potential for release of foot-and-mouth disease virus following an earthquake or tornado.

Practice

A handful of major wildfires in the Colorado Rockies this summer caused the evacuation of thousands of people and their pets as well as livestock and horses. PetAid Colorado’s Disaster Services (formerly the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation’s Animal Emergency Management Program) coordinated much of the response. Hundreds of animals required temporary sheltering, but few needed serious medical care.

Community

Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is anticipating a major, multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion project. The $120 million capital project will add a veterinary education building and an extension to the small animal hospital. Site visits from the AVMA Council on Education and Texas A&M administrators noted the need for improvements in the college’s teaching facilities.