AASV board of directors convenes - May 1, 2005

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During the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians in March, the AASV board of directors met and approved the formation of two new task forces and an initiative aimed at legislative education.

The first task force will address new graduate development and mentoring. New graduates are more likely to suffer from burnout in some practice situations, and the task force will identify employment situations that will nurture individuals who are starting their careers. "They are going to help new graduates find positive employment opportunities," said Dr. Tom Burkgren, executive director of the AASV. The task force will also identify areas where mentoring relationships may be valuable and work toward matching experienced practitioners with recent graduates.

The second task force will focus on veterinary ethics, initially concentrating on the issue of disclosure of any relevant affiliations for speakers and consultants. "They will probably come up with a format for a standard disclosure statement as well as guidelines that can be used by our members in any situation in which they are presenting at our meeting or at any other meeting or presentation," Dr. Burkgren said.

At the meeting, the board voted to hold its fall meeting in Washington, D.C., and combine it with a workshop that will provide training on the legislative process. Board members may also meet with congressional staff and regulatory agencies.

"There is recognition by the board that there are going to be legislative issues that are going to impact our members," Dr. Burkgren said. For example, swine veterinarians have a great interest in the National Veterinary Medical Service Act. This act, which has been passed but not funded, authorizes educational debt forgiveness for veterinarians who work in underserved areas or join a "national guard" of veterinarians.