Carlson awarded WVA lifetime membership

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Dr. Carlson
Dr. René Carlson

Lifetime honorary membership in the World Veterinary Association was awarded to former AVMA president Dr. René Carlson this summer.

Dr. Patricia Turner, the WVA president-elect, surprised Dr. Carlson with the rare accolade during a reception on July 13 at AVMA Convention 2018 in Denver attended by several members of the AVMA Board of Directors and Dr. Carlson's husband, Dr. Mark Carlson.

The AVMA also honored Dr. René Carlson with the Global Veterinary Service Award for her work promoting veterinary medicine worldwide.

Dr. Carlson served as WVA president from 2014-17. A federation of roughly 90 veterinary organizations representing 500,000 veterinarians on six continents, the WVA is the internationally recognized voice of global veterinary medicine.

A 1978 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, the small animal practitioner from Chetek, Wisconsin, has been a leader in the AVMA, serving as vice president, president, and director of international affairs.

Dr. Carlson admittedly knew little about the WVA prior to 2011 when, as AVMA president, she represented the AVMA at the general assembly of the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. She came away from the meeting excited about the AVMA's potential to influence global veterinary medicine through the WVA. So excited, in fact, that in 2014, Dr. Carlson successfully ran a global campaign as a candidate for the WVA presidency.

"It's amazing. I'm this person from a town of 2,000 people in Wisconsin, and I'm president of an international organization representing fellow veterinarians around the world," she said in a 2017 interview with JAVMA News.

Related JAVMA content:

AVMA's champion for global veterinary medicine (Aug. 1, 2017)

Former AVMA officer elected WVA president (Dec. 1, 2014)