Recognizing the value of mentoring, which AVMA President-Elect James E. Nave said is the number one request he hears from recent graduates, the Executive Board took it on as a new AVMA initiative.
Essentially the board acted favorably on the former Recent Graduate Committee's recommendation, but instead of appointing a task force to develop a mentoring program, added this charge to the new Member Services Committee.
Board members noted that there are various state mentoring programs. Some of these programs have been successful, whereas others are experiencing difficulty because of the time commitment required of faculty or other mentors.
The AVMA-sponsored program, however, will not duplicate such programs, because its focus will be on leadership mentoring and involvement in organized veterinary medicine, rather than on areas such as clinical practice. The Member Services Committee will be asked to develop a model mentoring program for use by state and allied organizations.
Dr. Jan Bartels, board liaison to the former Recent Graduate Committee, said the recommendation originated "with a lot of passion from young veterinarians who want to see young veterinarians involved in organized veterinary medicine." Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA vice president, said the AVMA will get "a hundredfold return" on this investment.