President’s Column: Focusing on your needs

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President's Column: Dr. Sandra Faeh Butler, AVMA 2024-25 president

My role as your AVMA president

I am humbled and honored to serve as your president for the coming year. Never did I imagine, when I stepped into the halls of the University of Illinois, that this day would come. I thank all of you for your support as we embark on this journey together.

During my campaign, I talked about listening and learning. We are such a vast profession with diverse skillsets and the ability to do so many amazing things. I am committed to continuing to learn from you, hearing your challenges, and discovering your opportunities.

As I embark on this journey, I hope to visit many of your colleagues in their daily lives, because my work as your AVMA president will focus on your needs and the issues facing all of us as veterinarians.

Priorities: Ensuring your interests come first

My priorities are aligned with those of the AVMA, which is working hard every day to ensure that your interests come first, and that we can continue to make the health and welfare of our patients and the animals we serve our top priority.

We are continuing to work across the profession to address our workforce issues. We are committed to understanding the statistical trends and data, and we are dedicated to finding the right solutions for you and the profession.

Efforts to relax the in-person establishment of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and the introduction of a proposed midlevel practitioner concern us on many levels. We are approaching these issues through short- and long-term lenses to ensure that the profession makes the right decisions when it comes to the practice of veterinary medicine.

My work as your AVMA president will focus on your needs and the issues facing all of us as veterinarians.

As we continue to invest in our newest colleagues entering the profession, I also am a strong believer in, and champion of, mentoring. The AVMA’s MentorVet Connect program is doing wonderful things for these new professionals and is also providing an invaluable opportunity for established veterinary colleagues to serve as trusted mentors. I encourage you to learn more about this wonderful program by visiting

Issues related to the continued availability of xylazine in the face of growing concerns about its illicit use also remain a priority for us. The AVMA will continue working with lawmakers, federal agencies, stakeholders, and the White House administration to help combat illicit xylazine while making clear the importance of xylazine in veterinary medicine.

We are also continuing to monitor cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or H5N1, detected in U.S. dairy cattle. We are working with partners across the profession and federal agencies to offer guidance, support, and updates on further developments.

I am committed to earnest collaboration in addressing the challenges and opportunities across our profession. As mentioned, I will do so by focusing on open communication, listening, and learning. I hope that my visits across the profession will give us many opportunities to discuss how we, as the AVMA, can best assist you.

Thank you for all you do, and here’s to another great year!


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