Help lead and promote the veterinary profession

Ways for Busy Recent Graduates to Get Involved in Leadership Roles

Dr. Elizabeth Nunamaker discusses the different opportunities available to recent graduates and the different level of time commitment they entail.

No time or experience needed. Your local, state, and national organizations are always looking for fresh ideas that come with new people getting involved. Getting involved in organized veterinary medicine doesn't require a large time commitment or previous experience. There are a variety of ways for veterinarians to volunteer that are all adaptable to your individual needs.

Dr. Rene Carlson, Immediate-Past President of the AVMA, provides her top 10 tips on how to "make your mark" on the profession of veterinary medicine.

Personal leadership stories of young veterinarians

Everyone's path to leadership is unique. Below are two videos of AVMA Future Leaders who have served as Presidents of their state veterinary medical associations. In watching these videos, you will see that Libby and Chris's paths to leadership are incredibly different. Regardless if you are a born leader, like Libby, or just happen to stumble into leadership as Chris did, we hope you find your own path.

From a Simple Brunch to State Veterinary Leadership: A Recent Graduate's Story

Dr. Christopher Gargamelli's path to leadership started as an opportunity to enjoy brunch. This video reveals how a simple start opened his eyes to the importance of organized veterinary medicine. Chris's story shows that no matter when or how your path to leadership begins, you can have an impact on the profession.

Born to Lead: A Veterinarian's Story on Becoming and Staying Involved as a Leader

 Dr. Libby Todd is a born leader. This video takes us through her path to leadership and showcases the many   opportunities available to those wishing to serve as leaders in organized veterinary medicine. Libby's story shows that for those with   the ability and motivation to serve, the possibilities are endless.


AVMA opportunities

The AVMA is primarily a volunteer-driven organization. The AVMA members that give of their time and energy to organized veterinary medicine primarily do so through work on AVMA committees, councils, and task forces. Please take a moment to look at the positions that are currently open in these entities and find a place where you can contribute to YOUR AVMA!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a scientific advisor to a member of Congress? The AVMA offers annual opportunities to participate in the Congressional Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. This is a unique opportunity to represent the veterinary profession in the legislative branch of our government.

Your AVMA is continually providing opportunities to improve your skills both as a veterinarian and as a leader in all aspects of your life. The Veterinary Leadership Conference, the Future Leaders Program, and the Veterinary Leadership Experience are all examples of these kinds of opportunities. Let the AVMA help you be the leader you want to be!

State and allied veterinary organizations

Consider getting involved at the local level in organized veterinary medicine. For example, you could participate in a local chapter of your state veterinary medical association or get involved with an allied organization of the AVMA.

Reading materials

Thousands of books have been written about leadership, and choosing the right ones can be overwhelming. Below are some personal favorites of the AVMA Future Leaders Class of 2011-2012.

The Perfect Board Title: The Perfect Board
Author: Calvin K. Clemons
Description: A quick read. The Perfect Board is a primer, rather than an encyclopedia or textbook. It describes what it takes to be an effective member of any Board. A must read for anyone new to serving on a Board of Directors, but also a great refresher for veteran board members.
Race for Relevance Title: Race for Relevance
Author: Harrison Coerver and Mary Byer
Description: A must read for anyone involved in organized veterinary medicine at any level. Race for Relevance presents the radical change required to maintain influence and avoid challenges associated with old association models. Read by many in AVMA leadership, it is very relevant to veterinary medicine.
First things First Title: First things First
Author: Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca K. Merrill
Description: Recurring themes in the Future Leaders Program are compass and navigation. First Things First provides you with a compass that will help you create balance between your personal and professional responsibilities.
The Leadership Challenge Title: The Leadership Challenge
Author: Jim Kouzes, Barry Posner
Description: The Leadership Challenge is a gold standard for research-based leadership and a premier resource on becoming a leader. All of the inaugural AVMA Future Leaders read this book and found it useful in our leadership journey.
The Slight Edge Title: The Slight Edge
Author: Jeff Olson
Description: The Slight Edge provides a way of thinking that enables you to make the daily choices leading you to the success you desire. It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life.
The Will to Govern Well Title: The Will to Govern Well
Author: Glenn H. Tecker, Paul D. Meyer, Bud Crouch, and Leigh Wintz
Description: The Will to Govern Well presents research into associations that have shifted to knowledge-based governance systems, which can more reliably function in a world characterized by rapid change. Another feature of this edition is an emerging theory about the value proposition of associations in the 21st century.
Our Iceberg is Melting Title: Our Iceberg is Melting
Author: John Kotter and Holger Rathgerber
Description: Compared to the other books on the list, Our Iceberg is Melting is unique. It describes how to manage the necessary change that surrounds us by telling the fictional story of an anthropomorphized Antarctic penguin colony. This is a delightful book.