Student AVMA (SAVMA)

History and Mission

The concept of a national association of student chapters was first proposed to students who attended the 1966 AVMA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. For the next five years veterinary students, under AVMA guidance, examined the need for such an organization. In 1969 the University of California Student Chapter of the AVMA elected a committee to lay the framework for the proposed national student association. In May of that year, the "National Conference of Student Chapters of the AVMA" (NCSCAVMA) came into being. Its key objectives were patterned after those of the parent AVMA: ". . . to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to agriculture and public health." In 1972 the name of the organization was changed to the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA), and at the end of the 2019-2020 membership year there were 36 student chapters and 1 student association organization with a total membership of over 17,000 students. Veterinary students studying outside of the US where a student chapter does not exist are welcome to become associate members.

Mission and Purpose

The Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) exists to support, empower, and inspire all veterinary students in improving their lives, education, and career, along with securing a better future for our profession through collaboration with our parent organization, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

The objective of SAVMA shall be to introduce veterinary students to the concept of organized veterinary medicine; to promote, enhance and support professionalism and veterinary medical education; to advocate for and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and wellbeing in veterinary medical education and extracurricular programs; and to encourage the development and empowerment of students as leaders in the profession of veterinary medicine and the community as a whole.

SAVMA House of Delegates

Structurally, the Student AVMA consists of an Executive Board and a House of Delegates (HOD) composed of senior delegates and junior delegates who are elected or appointed by and represent each member chapter. The House of Delegates and its members are responsible for guiding and directing the policy and activities of SAVMA in the best interest of the veterinary profession and the public it serves. The SAVMA House of Delegates meets twice yearly: in July during the AVMA Convention, and in the spring during the annual Student AVMA Symposium. Members of the Executive Board are selected by the House of Delegates. They include the president, president-elect, secretary, secretary-elect, treasurer, treasurer-elect, international exchange officer, international exchange officer-elect, communications and public relations officer, communications and public relations officer-elect, veterinary economics officer, veterinary economics officer-elect, SAVMA editor in chief, SAVMA editor in chief-elect, cultural outreach officer and cultural outreach officer-elect, wellbeing officer, and wellbeing officer-elect. SAVMA HOD delegates also serve on Student AVMA committees to better serve Student AVMA members interests and needs. An AVMA assistant director of membership and field services is the official Student AVMA advisor.

The formation of a national organization of veterinary students has enabled what were once isolated student chapters to function effectively as a single unit on the national scene. The Student AVMA coordinates student chapter functions, promotes the exchange of ideas and information among students, and represents its members in matters that concern them, both as students and as future veterinarians. SAVMA helps to improve communication between the local student organizations and gives a national voice to student members around the world. 

Veterinarian's Oath

Approved by the HOD, 1954; Revision approved by the HOD, 1969; Revision approved by the Executive Board 1999, 2010.

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.