Meyer strikes personal note in HOD address
Posted Sept. 14, 2016
Dr. Tom Meyer, the 2016-2017 AVMA president, says his family is experiencing the health troubles that come with age. Rather than despair, he and his wife, Jean, also a veterinarian, have chosen to embrace the challenges, seeing each day as filled with opportunity and hope, and strengthened by one another and their children.
“It is this type of strength and support that so many of our colleagues need, and I submit to you today that I will work as AVMA president to help ensure that the AVMA continues to be a participant in helping improve the wellness and well-being of our colleagues and friends. It is part of our duty as both association leaders and compassionate caregivers. And it is something I care deeply about,” Dr. Meyer said.
The mixed animal practice owner from Vancouver, Washington, was speaking about his agenda at the regular annual session of the Association’s House of Delegates Aug. 5 in San Antonio. Dr. Meyer succeeded Dr. Joe Kinnarney as AVMA president Aug. 9 at the close of AVMA Convention 2016.
Two years ago, when Dr. Meyer began campaigning for AVMA president-elect, he described the Association as a linchpin holding together a diverse and complex profession. In his Aug. 5 speech, he stated, “As president, my focus is on navigating the future and why it’s important to do so with purpose and certainty so the AVMA continues to be that linchpin.”
I submit to you today that I will work as AVMA president to help ensure that the AVMA continues to be a participant in helping improve the wellness and well-being of our colleagues and friends. It is part of our duty as both association leaders and compassionate caregivers. And it is something I care deeply about.”
Dr. Tom Meyer,
2016-2017 AVMA president
In his remarks Dr. Meyer noted how the AVMA, through its Veterinary Economics Division, is generating an unprecedented amount of data on the veterinary profession. That work needs to continue, he said, as the AVMA identifies better ways of interpreting and using that information for the benefit of veterinarians.
The AVMA also needs to continue the momentum toward improving the economic picture for new veterinarians, particularly with respect to reducing veterinary educational debt, according to Dr. Meyer. The Economics of Veterinary Medical Education Summit (aka Fix the Debt summit) this past April was an important milestone for identifying solutions to help ease the financial burdens on veterinary students and recent graduates, he said.
Dr. Meyer said the AVMA is making strides in the area of personal wellness, with a new focus on and commitment of resources to improving wellness among veterinary colleagues and students. He referenced the Association’s first wellness roundtable, held in March. “The roundtable helped us set the stage for continuing efforts that will address the topics of wellness and well-being in the profession, and I look forward to leading the AVMA in these efforts,” he said.
AVMA members are the lifeblood of the organization, requiring their participation for the Association to thrive, Dr. Meyer explained, adding that the Association must be flexible to remain relevant to and trusted by members.
Dr. Meyer said the AVMA must continue exploring new and effective channels of communication while at the same time informing members and the public about the AVMA’s ongoing work in areas such as advocacy, veterinary college accreditation, economics, and member services.
“It is my hope that all veterinarians recognize the value they contribute as AVMA members, and that we as an association work diligently to provide our members with the services, products, and support they need,” Dr. Meyer said.
||Dr. Tom Meyer addresses the AVMA House of Delegates regarding his vision as Association president.
For the AVMA to achieve its goals of protecting, promoting, and advancing both veterinarians and the profession, it is important that Association leaders—the House of Delegates, Board of Directors, councils, and committees—work together as a team, according to Dr. Meyer. “Together, we can more effectively advance our shared interests, values, and goals,” he noted.
Dr. Meyer expressed his hope that the profession will continue to attract the best and brightest and to provide them with the opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals, both professionally and economically. Additionally, he hopes the veterinary profession will preserve the public trust while continuing to educate the public about veterinary medicine’s contributions to the well-being of animals and people.
He concluded by pledging to focus his presidency on being inclusive and promoting the participation of a diverse membership as the AVMA addresses the challenges facing the profession. “Whether it is wellness, economics, one health, or member services,” Dr. Meyer said, “it is essential that the AVMA embrace our membership and unify our efforts to advocate for the robust future of veterinary medicine.”