Preliminary work on U.S. veterinary workforce study begins

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The AVMA Executive Board has directed Association staff to prepare a preliminary proposal for conducting a comprehensive study of current and future U.S. veterinary workforce supply and demand.

Meeting July 13 in St. Louis ahead of the AVMA House of Delegates regular annual session, the board approved the recommendation for the study proposal, submitted by Dr. Ted Cohn, the District IX representative to the board.

The staff proposal would define the appropriate scope, potential costs, and resources needed to conduct the workforce study and was to be provided to the Executive Board in time for its economic strategy session Aug. 21-23.

Dr. Cohn and other AVMA Executive Board members
AVMA Executive Board member Dr. Ted Cohn says a clearer picture of the U.S. veterinary workforce will aid the Association in developing a strategy for improving the profession's economics.(Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

At press time, board members were slated to discuss the breadth, importance, and urgency of economic issues facing the veterinary profession at that session.

In his recommendation, Dr. Cohn noted that the U.S. veterinary workforce is a central economic issue and that its enhancement is one of the AVMA strategic plan goals. The Association wants to identify employment opportunities for veterinarians and design solutions that balance society's need for veterinary services with the supply of veterinarians. "Having staff's preliminary proposal for a comprehensive veterinary workforce study would be very helpful to the development of the AVMA's economics strategy," Dr. Cohn wrote.

The only business conducted at the July 19 Executive Board meeting was choosing a chair and vice chair and seating three new board members. Dr. Cohn of Lone Tree, Colo., was elected board chair, and District V representative Dr. Janver D. Krehbiel of Mason, Mich., was elected vice chair.

Additionally, Dr. Barbara A. Schmidt of Union, Ky., succeeded Dr. Bret D. Marsh as AVMA treasurer, and Drs. Mark P. Helfat of Lumberton, N.J., and Chester L. "Chet" Rawson of Markesan, Wis., were welcomed as the new District II and District VI representatives, respectively.