The Veterinary Futures Commission, a group recently developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), held its first meeting April 8-9 in conjunction with the Veterinary Innovation Summit at Texas A&M University.
The Veterinary Futures Commission is intended to serve as a semi-autonomous visioning body to evaluate challenges and opportunities in the veterinary profession, identify priorities guided by societal needs and develop evidence-based recommendations to the AVMA and AAVMC regarding potential courses of action.
“The future is here and AVMA and AAVMC are not sitting by to see what happens,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University and chair of the commission. “They have jointly formed the Veterinary Futures Commission, charged with recommending appropriate actions to help ensure a successful veterinary profession now and well into the future. It will be exciting to follow the Veterinary Futures Commission over the next 12 to 18 months.”
The commission used its introductory meeting to discuss how to identify and analyze emerging trends that may affect the veterinary profession in the coming years and develop a framework based on discovery, analysis and advocacy across several key areas to meet its charge. This work will eventually lead to a report of the commission’s findings and evidence-based recommendations for consideration by the AVMA and AAVMC boards of directors.
The group also established a communications channel to continue its work online until its next face-to-face meeting, tentatively planned for later this summer at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. A third meeting will follow in Washington, D.C., in late 2018 or early 2019.
“We have lived through so many cultural and technological changes in just the past generation, and we can anticipate more changes to come,” said Dr. Michael J. Topper, president of the AVMA. “The veterinary profession needs to stay on top of how future developments may alter and affect the nature and practice of veterinary medicine, and the Veterinary Futures Commission just took an important first step in preparing for whatever changes may come.”
“Our goal here is to create the kind of future we need for veterinary medicine, not just let the future ‘happen’ to us, and that takes a lot of vision and foresight,” said AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have an exceptional group of people on board. They’re asking the right questions, focusing on process and putting some solid strategies in place. I think something very exciting is beginning to take shape.”
Members of the Veterinary Futures Commission include:
- Eleanor Green: Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University College Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (Chair)
- Warwick Bayly: professor of equine medicine, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Steve Curvey: chief operating officer, Veterinary Study Groups Inc.
- Carla Gartrell: associate dean for academic affairs, Midwestern University
- Christine Jenkins: chief medical officer, vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes research at Zoetis
- Jason Johnson: vice president and dean, Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Adam Little: director of veterinary innovation and entrepreneurship, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
- Shannon Mesenhowski: program officer, livestock/agriculture development team, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Ken Rotondo: president and founding partner, Mind Genomics Advisors
- Nancy Turner: independent relief veterinarian, McKinney, Texas