Student debt, globalization highlight AVMA House of Delegates meeting

Published on July 18, 2018

The Veterinary Information Forum is an open discussion in which House of Delegates members address high-profile issues of significant importance to AVMA’s member veterinarians.

How does the veterinary profession think outside the box when it comes to addressing the issue of veterinary student debt?

The volunteer members of the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) gave that question extensive consideration during their Veterinary Information Forum last week in Denver. Following their discussions, the HOD recommended that the AVMA Board of Directors investigate numerous opportunities to help alleviate student debt.

Their recommendation to the Board asks that the AVMA:

  • Investigate methods to make financial advisers available to help veterinary school applicants, students and recent graduates manage the cost of their education.
  • Investigate and promote strategies for private practitioners to assist students and recent graduates in managing the cost of their education.
  • Investigate development of a low-interest loan program for veterinary students that is financially sustainable for the AVMA.
  • Consider developing a toolbox of advocacy strategies to help state veterinary medical associations promote increased funding for higher education and loan repayment programs.

Student debt was just one topic during the Veterinary Information Forum. The issue of globalization and what role the AVMA should play internationally also resulted in an HOD recommendation to the Board. The recommendation asks the AVMA to:

  • Create a communication plan for educating AVMA members about the association’s international activities and develop tools to gauge member understanding and support of international activities as well as priorities for future initiatives.
  • Develop tools to assess member interest in getting involved personally in international initiatives and global volunteer opportunities.
  • Explore international AVMA membership category models.

The Veterinary Information Forum is an open discussion in which HOD members address high-profile issues of significant importance to AVMA’s member veterinarians. The forum topics are chosen with input from AVMA members, and we encourage you to suggest topics for discussion. If you have ideas for topics for the next forum, which will be held in January, please reach out directly to your delegates.

Policy discussions

The House of Delegates also acted on policies and resolutions during its business meeting, including:

  • The House approved a new AVMA Policy on Foot and Mouth Disease.
  • House members referred to the AVMA Board of Directors for reconsideration a revised Policy on Canine Devocalization.
  • House members approved a resolution advising the AVMA work with other groups to develop recommendations to enhance health-conscious breeding practices and guidelines with the goal of minimizing inherited disorders in dogs and cats.
  • House members asked the House Advisory Committee to form a task force to examine eligibility requirements for organizations to maintain status in the House of Delegates as constituent allied veterinary organizations of the AVMA. The referral asks that the task force include representatives from various allied veterinary organizations.

You can read more about these discussions in the online AVMA Convention 2018 Daily News.

Recognition of service

Those members retiring from the House of Delegates were also recognized. They include:

  • Dr. David Calderwood from North Dakota
  • Dr. Rachel Cezar from the District of Columbia
  • Dr. Cordell Chang from Hawaii
  • Dr. Karen Davis from North Carolina
  • Dr. Charles Lemme from Iowa
  • Dr. Tim Fleming from Mississippi
  • Dr. Melanie Marsden from Colorado
  • Dr. Boyd Parr from South Carolina
  • Dr. Keith Schumacher from Nebraska
  • Dr. Steven Wills from Kentucky

Four outgoing AVMA Board of Directors members were also recognized. The House thanked Drs. Tom Meyer, Stacy Pritt, Mike Whitehair and John Howe for their service.