Bailey shares his vision as he seeks AVMA presidency

Boggier, Marshall vie for 2024-26 vice presidency

Dr. Michael Q. Bailey, a board-certified veterinary radiologist and outgoing member of the AVMA Board of Directors (BOD), launched his campaign for 2024-25 AVMA president-elect on July 14 with an impassioned speech to the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD). So far, he is the only candidate to declare for the position.

In addition, two members of the HOD announced their candidacies for 2024-26 AVMA vice president: New Jersey delegate Dr. Elizabeth Boggier and Washington state delegate Dr. Gary Marshall.

The AVMA vice president is elected to a two-year term and responsible for building stronger ties between the AVMA and veterinary college deans and faculty as well as veterinary student leadership.

The representative

Dr. Michael Q. Bailey
Dr. Michael Q. Bailey

In his remarks before the House, Dr. Bailey stressed how veterinarians and the AVMA must take every opportunity to boldly announce what accomplished health care professionals veterinarians are, and how they are highly educated and skilled, capable of providing quality medical care for a range of species.

Having spoken with members from well-served to underserved communities, Dr. Bailey noticed a common theme: The public sees veterinarians' skills as "limited to administering vaccines for diseases they don't understand and performing spays and neuters without fully understanding why the procedures are important."

Many individuals do not appreciate the depth of care veterinarians offer, much less their work in research, conservation, policy-making, and public health initiatives, Dr. Bailey said.

"We must cultivate a compelling message that captures the essence of veterinary medicine," he continued. "Support me, and I will deliver an identity representing what it means to be a veterinarian to our health care colleagues, production animal clients, the populations that do not know they depend on veterinary medicine, and Generation Alpha, dreaming about their future selves.

"I will deliver the message to the medical and nonmedical competition, such as data scientists, looking to supplant our profession with an algorithm. Let me present a positive articulation of what and who veterinarians and veterinary professionals are. We are more!"

A 1982 graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Bailey has served on the veterinary faculties of Michigan State University and The Ohio State University. Currently, he is assistant medical director for telemedicine at Idexx Laboratories.

Dr. Bailey, of Export, Pennsylvania, was elected to the AVMA Board in 2017 as the District II representative, which covers Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. His term on the Board concludes Sunday.

If elected by the HOD during its 2024 regular annual session in July in Austin, Texas, Dr. Bailey would become the AVMA's first Black president-elect and Black president in 2025.

The visionary

Dr. Elizabeth Boggier
Dr. Elizabeth Boggier

Dr. Boggier is a practice owner and has served in the HOD since 2012, first as the alternate delegate and now as delegate for New Jersey.

Speaking to the HOD, she said, "I have a vision of a brighter future for our profession—a vision that focuses on mentorship, a vision that focuses on empowerments, a vision that focuses on stronger relationships with and within our veterinary schools."

If elected vice president, Dr. Boggier said her top priority will be to work toward establishing a comprehensive mentorship program across all sectors of veterinary medicine.

"Whether in private practice, academia, research, or public health, every aspiring veterinarian needs and deserves guidance. They deserve support from those experienced professionals who have walked those paths before them," she said. "These mentorship programs will encourage the next generation of veterinarians to succeed and become leaders in their respective fields."

Dr. Boggier is a 1998 graduate of Tuskegee's veterinary college. In 2008, she opened MountainView Veterinary Hospital in Rockaway, New Jersey. She has since opened a second hospital, in Denville, New Jersey, and expanded staffing numbers to include seven doctors, each with a different specialty, and one who is fluent in Spanish.

The listener

Dr. Gary Marshall
Dr. Gary Marshall

Dr. Marshall is an adjunct professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Twice, he said, the veterinary college turned down his enrollment application. Were it not for the mentorship of the late Dr. Leo Bustad, a former veterinary dean at Washington State and pioneer in human-animal bond research, Dr. Marshall said he would not have become a veterinarian.

"Dr. Bustad took time to connect with me, to encourage me, to advocate for me, and to tell me I have value—not only to a profession that I wasn't a part of yet, but that I have value as a human being," said Dr. Marshall, adding how he has modeled Dr. Bustad's style of mentorship throughout his career.

Dr. Marshall wants to build on the AVMA's work of growing its membership, which requires listening, understanding, and responding to the perceived needs of the biggest pool of potential new members: veterinary students.

"Listening will be my biggest focus. I will consider it my utmost priority to listen to students and faculty and bring back what I learn to the Board and HOD," he said.

Dr. Marshall is the alternate delegate for Washington State in the AVMA House of Delegates. He currently serves on the board of directors for both the Washington State VMA and the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI).

A version of this story appears in the September 2023 print issue of JAVMA