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Spring 2013
Greetings from the AAVMC
Dr. Maccabe
Welcome to the Educator, the AAVMC's revamped and renamed e-bulletin. In this issue, we'll take a closer look at the AAVMC's recent 2013 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, where attendees gathered to promote the AAVMC's legislative agenda, assess how to enhance diversity, and develop strategies for how to prepare for the future. The meeting came on the heels of a controversial article in the New York Times about academic veterinary medicine -- and the AAVMC's response -- that brought a heightened sense of urgency to the meeting and highlighted the need to effectively communicate the enduring value of veterinary medical education. We hope that you enjoy learning more about the conference and other recent developments in academic veterinary medicine in this inaugural issue of the Vet-Med Educator -- content that matters from the AAVMC.
Dr. Andrew Maccabe
Executive Director, AAVMC
The Conference that Beat the Odds
Congressional reception

L. to r: Dr. Deborah Kochevar, dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and president of the AAVMC; Dr. Phillip Nelson, dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine;  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Paige Carmichael of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine; and Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Jean Sander chat during a reception prior to the AAVMC's Congressional Reception in the Longworth House Office Building. Click here for a conference slideshow.
This year, anticipated snow storms, jokingly referred to as "the Snowquester," threatened to cancel or, at the very least, waylay the plans of many to attend the AAVMC's 2013 Annual Conference. In the end, however, the Snowquester blew over the Washington, D.C, area, ushering in one of the AAVMC's most well-attended and successful conferences to date.  Nearly 250 veterinary medical educators, policymakers, and students gathered for the conference and the biennial Iverson Bell Symposium, named for the first African-American veterinarian to hold the position of vice president in the American Veterinary Medical Association. Learn more.
Big Drama, Steady Profession

Shock waves from the New York Times Feb. 24 article on the fragile economic state of the profession continue to ripple throughout the veterinary medical community. That the Times chose to do an article of such breadth and scope on the profession makes a lot of sense. After all, there's not a lot more important than the health and well being of people and animals. But it was unfortunate that they parsed and applied the facts of the matter in a way that exaggerated their case. The resulting drama was a bit more than the profession needs as it continues to sort out its challenges. Learn more.

Legislators Form First-Ever Veterinary Medicine Caucus
A Historic First

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), both veterinarians, have joined forces to form the first-ever, bipartisan Veterinary Medicine Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.The formation of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus comes at an extremely important time, as several vitally important bills relating to veterinary medicine are currently before Congress. Learn more.
AAVMC Establishes Financial Literacy Task Force
At their January 2013 meeting, the AAVMC Board of Directors approved the formation of a task force to explore the feasibility of creating and implementing a Financial Literacy Curriculum for veterinary medical students. The task force will be headed by Dr. Jim Lloyd, associate dean for Budget, Planning and Institutional Research at Michigan State University. Learn more.
VMCAS Rolls Out Improvements, Enhancements

The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) recently introduced some changes, including transcript verification, that will make the application process more efficient, effective, and media friendly. The changes begin with this year's cycle. Learn more.

Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders

Preparing the next generation of leaders for the profession is an AAVMC priority. In keeping with that goal, during the conference, the AAVMC brought together 23 future leaders of academic veterinary medicine for sessions on leadership development and government advocacy. The goal is to inspire and mentor young leaders and equip them with leadership training and skills designed to help them help the profession. Learn more.

Award Winners Represent Pinnacle of Excellence

Several leaders in veterinary medical education who received awards at the conference exemplify the extraordinary diversity of expertise that exists in the profession.
Dr. Ronnie Elmore,
associate dean for Academic Programs, Admissions and Diversity at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, received the Iverson Bell Recognition Award.
Dr. Will Hueston, a professor from the University of Minnesota, received the Senator John Melcher DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award. Dr. Mary Anna Thrall from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine received the 2012 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis (formerly the animal health business of Pfizer). Dr. James Coffman, former dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, was chosen to deliver the 2013 Recognition Lecture.  And Dr. James G. Fox from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology received the 2013 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award. Learn more.
AAVMC Considers Ethics Policy Refinements

For years, public and private schools and colleges of veterinary medicine have collaborated with external partners like corporations, foundations, individual donors, and others as they develop the financial and intellectual resources required to provide high-quality educational, clinical, research, and outreach programs. To help provide guidelines for this important collaboration, the AAVMC created an ethics policy in 2011. In August 2012, the AAVMC hosted a meeting to solicit additional input from stakeholder groups such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians (AACPPV), and others.   Read more about the evolution and refinement of the ethics policy.
Learn more.

Practitioner/Academy Relations Have Come a Long Way  

As veterinary medicine works to resolve its economic issues, it's useful to look at how other professions have worked with their respective colleges to deal with the capacity and demand issues that have risen and fallen over the decades. This interesting glimpse from more than a century ago was unearthed by staff working with the largest campaign ever mounted to inform pet owners about the importance of preventive care  -- Partners for Healthy Pets. More than a century ago, the American Dental Association was working to build consumer understanding of the need for preventive dental care. They were dismayed to learn that dental school faculty members could not find the time to help them.  Learn more. 

A Look on the Bright Side
The New York Times' Feb. 24 article on the profession's current operating environment cast a bit of a pall over all who are passionate about veterinary medicine, and just about everyone at the meeting was talking about it. But AAVMC President Dr. Debbie Kochevar is not one to be deterred. In an extemporaneous move taken toward the end of the General Membership meeting, she swept away the negative vibes by asking deans in attendance to share a few positive thoughts about all that is good about academic veterinary medicine. Click here to hear some of the good news that was shared.

Federal Veterinary Workforce Assessment

From livestock production and food safety to public health, veterinarians working for the federal government play a crucial role in modern society.  Responding to a 2009 GAO directive, the Federal Veterinary Workforce Talent Management Advisory Council (TIMAC) recently concluded a detailed examination of the federal veterinary workforce and its ability to respond to an unexpected animal health emergency such as an FMD outbreak on American farms.  The program included a workforce study and an assessment of emergency preparedness. Learn more.

It's Here:
The First Textbook Devoted to Diversity in Academic Veterinary Medicine

The Iverson Bell Symposium featured the public launch of the first textbook devoted to teaching veterinary students about diversity and multicultural awareness. Increasing diversity in the veterinary profession is one of the AAVMC's strategic goals, and teaching diversity and cultural competency is one of the recommendations outlined in the report from the North American Veterinary Medical Education Commission (NAVMEC). The editors of "Navigating Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine" are Kauline Cipriani Davis and Sandra F. Amass of Purdue University, Patricia Lowrie (formerly from Michigan State University), and the AAVMC's own Lisa Greenhill. Learn more.

One Health:  A Shared Vision

The AAVMC is now an official member of the One Health Commission. At its March meeting, the board voted to join the One Health Commission, an independent organization designed to foster broader public recognition of the integrated nature of human, animal, and environmental health. The AAVMC will have a seat on the board of directors of this organization. AAVMC Executive Director Andrew Maccabe said the  "One Health" approach "fosters collaborations and the free flow of information..."  Learn more.
Spread the Word: Students Can Submit History Essays, Win Awards

The American Veterinary Medical History Society believes that veterinarians are often not aware of the historical significance of their profession -- a  profession that has boosted static economies, assured war victories, provided safe meat and dairy products, helped build thriving livestock industries, and played an enormous role in advancing human health. To get students thinking and writing about the historical significance of the veterinary profession, the American Veterinary Medical History Society has boosted both the number and prize amounts for the Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest. The 2013 contest is underway with a deadline of April 14, 2013. Learn more.

"Kennecting" with a One-Health World

We live in a one-health world, as AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andy Maccabe pointed out during invited remarks at the dedication ceremony for the University of Arizona's new School of Biomedical Sciences and Comparative Health in Tucson, Arizona.  Riffing on Jeopardy Champ Ken Jennings' "Kennections" Parade Magazine column, Maccabe demonstrated how seemingly disparate events and processes in one health sector are fundamentally linked to another.  Learn more.

AAVMC Board Considers Instructional Innovations, Enhancement

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Board of Directors considered and acted on initiatives ranging from e-instruction and the scope of its annual Comparative Data Report to the Veterinary Medical Centralized Application Service (VMCAS) and economic issues facing the profession during its March 2013 meeting in Washington, D.C.  Learn more.

Former AAVMC Executive Director Named to Key FDA Post
Former AAVMC Executive Director Marguerite Pappaioanou is the new U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) Liaison for Food Safety to the Food and Drug Administration. See what Dale L. Morse, associate director for food safety for the CDC's division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, had to say about her appointment here.

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