16 Aug From the President
By Forrest Reynolds, DVM
For the sake of transparency, you should know that the last AVMA convention that I attended was as a SAVMA representative while in school at the UTCVM. For most of my veterinary career, I thought that the AVMA and its gatherings were reserved for those who were ambitious and natural born leaders (I suspect that I am not the only one).
I knew that my JAVMA publications were coming from an unseen distant land, the same place that I sent my dues once a year. I did have a sense of what the AVMA did for the profession, much in the same way I knew that the TVMA was more than C.E.. For the longest time I stood on the sidelines and was a consumer; taking advantage of what organized veterinary medicine did for me and most of the time not even knowing what it was that they were doing.
I am writing this as I prepare to leave Denver after this year’s AVMA convention. It is customary for the TVMA president to attend. It is also customary for the president to attend the meeting of the AVMA House of Delegates. At that meeting, I was exposed to the inner workings of organized veterinary medicine at the national level. It was humbling to see our representatives lean into the current issues of today.
Issues that are very real, issues that will have a direct impact on our profession. I found it incredibly reassuring to see familiar faces leading the charge. Faces like Dr. Mary Ergen, our AVMA District 3 representative, Dr. Susan Moon, our state delegate and Dr. Joe Ed Conn, our alternate delegate. Watching these colleagues and other veterinarians from around the United States was both reassuring and humbling. Seeing this process in person reminded me to thank those that currently serve and those that came before them.
Most have heard of the “80-20” rule. That is that 80% of the work gets done by 20% of the people. Knowing the type of people that make up our profession, it is my opinion, that we could very well be the profession that eradicates the “80-20” rule. If you are of the opinion that organized veterinary medicine “is not for you”, I would challenge you to rethink the issue and give it a try.
I said “no” for far too long, for all the wrong reasons. Fortunately, Dr. Matt Povlovich encouraged me (strongly I might add) to re-engage. He eventually convinced me that I had enough to offer and could be part of the solution. It is my opinion that veterinary medicine is the greatest profession on the planet and the least I could do was to give a little back, even if I wasn’t overly ambitious or a natural born leader.
Please ask yourself if you would like to “give back.” If the answer is “yes,” then contact a member of the TVMA executive board and inquire how you might take a baby step in the direction of your professional association. You will benefit in ways you never could have imagined.