Pride in being a member of the family

Published on August 12, 2022
President's column - Dr. Lori Teller

PRESIDENT'S COLUMN — Dr. Lori Teller

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar
-Katy Perry, “Roar”

I am so excited to be your new AVMA president. I cannot think of a group of smarter and savvier people than veterinarians. I regularly tell my students you can put seven veterinarians in a room and you will get eight different opinions—but together we will make the right decisions. 

I love being a veterinarian. The profession is a massive family: it’s beautiful, intelligent, messy, joyous, compassionate, frustrating, and loving, all at the same time. One thing that is certain about this family is that our hearts and souls are intertwined by our care for animal and human health. This year, I am honored to be the “mom” of the AVMA family. This is noteworthy because I am the first mother to serve as AVMA president. 

My path to this position has its twists and potholes. I worked at a practice that was the perfect fit, and then I got the six-year itch: Is this all there is? I challenged myself and became board-certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. 

I am always inspired by the veterinarians, team members, and others who appreciate the AVMA’s contributions to the care of animals and the public. 

Shortly after this, our son was diagnosed with some significant learning differences that resulted in me taking a two-year hiatus from practice (except for the occasional Saturday) and founding a high school for students with special needs. I learned a lot during that time, including that I needed the mental stimulation that comes from being a veterinarian and being engaged in veterinary medicine. 

More recently, I joined the faculty at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to teach our future colleagues. This is incredibly stimulating! What also maintains my joy in our profession is my participation in organized veterinary medicine. When I got involved in something bigger than me, I found colleagues who share a passion to better the profession. 

This process can be frustrating at times. However, I am always inspired by the veterinarians, team members, and others who appreciate the AVMA’s contributions to the care of animals and the public. 

So, wherever you are on the veterinary family tree, know that you are an integral part of us.

Now, sit up straight, eat your veggies, and let me hear you roar: AVMA Rocks!

Comments

congratulations!

Happy to see a female leader in this position (yes, I said it!). Really hoping for some positive changes in the field under your leadership

Timothy J Ireland, VMD
August 18, 2022 Permalink

Thank you

As a past president of our state VMA I have a small glimpse of what you have stepped up to do. Thank you and congratulations! I know I received more from my years of service than I gave. I hope the same will be true for you.

I agree with all the sentiments expressed here! I have always had a broader view of our profession than most. It's nice to hear others who share this passion. Sadly, these days I am feeling more and more like a unicorn.
I know there are others who care but we are all carrying such an immense weight going into work every day knowing that we are going to have to turn away patients in need.
How can general practitioners help us through this crisis? When I served I knew I was leaving my patients in the best of hands. If I raise my hand now, not only will my patients suffer but my associates will suffer too! Every day I hold my breath hoping that today is not the day that they breakdown and withdrawal from the profession. What ideas do you have about how we can help you lead us through these difficult times?

RE: Thank you

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Dr. Ireland. Please be assured that the very important issues that you raised are also very important to the AVMA, and that we dedicate a considerable amount of focus, time and energy to these topics every day.

Current initiatives we are working on to help our members thrive include our significant efforts on:

• Workforce challenges: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/veterinary-economics/veterinary-wo…
• Practice management: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/practice-management
• Workforce efficiencies: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/practice-management/utilizing-vete…
• Wellbeing: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/wellbeing

If you are not already, we also encourage you to subscribe to the various AVMA newsletters related to these topics and more. These choices can be selected through your member portal and you’ll have the latest news and information on these topics delivered directly to your inbox.

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