September 15, 2017


 Delegates make de Jong AVMA president-elect

Posted Aug. 30, 2017

Dr. de Jong and son JackDr. John de Jong speaks to the AVMA House of Delegates about his priorities when he becomes AVMA president in 2018. Beside him is his son Jack.

The AVMA House of Delegates elected former Board of Directors chair Dr. John de Jong as 2017-18 AVMA president-elect during the House's regular annual session July 21 in Indianapolis.

A companion animal veterinarian and practice owner from Weston, Massachusetts, Dr. de Jong will succeed AVMA President Michael Topper at the conclusion of AVMA Convention 2018 in Denver.

Joined by his wife, Carole, and their sons Jack and Sam, Dr. de Jong thanked delegates for their confidence in his leadership. "I stand before you exceptionally honored and humbled to be elected. Besides being one of the greatest moments of professional life, this is one of the greatest moments of my entire life," he said.

"We serve in the most noble and honorable profession, serving animals and mankind, and have a profound impact on the world around us," Dr. de Jong continued. "There are always challenges to face and conquer. No one president of the AVMA can do it alone. We have to protect, promote, and advance our profession collaboratively and, as an association, focus on our members' needs and what they want from us.

"In the past, we've identified advocacy, education, and economics as the three most important roles for the AVMA. It is these three areas I would like to focus my attention on, especially on advocacy.

"We desperately need to be a bigger national presence, and I look forward to making the acronym ‘AVMA' known to most of the American public. I want the public to have greater understanding of, and respect for, the breadth of veterinary medicine. I believe that in achieving that, we'll find greater economic security and a healthier pathway for those entering the profession that currently find themselves saddled with enormous debt."

Dr. de Jong received his veterinary degree in 1985 from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. He owns the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic and Newton Animal Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.

His commitment to the AVMA spans nearly two decades, beginning in 1999 as the alternate delegate from Massachusetts in the HOD. Within four years, Dr. de Jong would become his home state's delegate. Of the 12 years Dr. de Jong spent in the House, eight were as a member of the House Advisory Committee, including as chair.

In 2010, Dr. de Jong overcame a challenger to represent Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont on the AVMA Board. He spent his final year with the Board as chair.

Additionally, Dr. de Jong is a past president of the Massachusetts and New England VMAs as well as the American Association of Housecall Veterinarians. He is on the board of trustees at Tufts University and serves on the board of advisors for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

Related JAVMA content:

John de Jong wants to make AVMA a household name (June 15, 2017)