President’s Message – The wider community of veterinary professionals
I am excited to be serving as WSVMA President. I consider it an honor and a privilege. I’d like to use this as a bit of an introduction as there are so many members I have yet to meet and get to know.
I started my first job in a veterinary clinic in 1979. I treated my first patient as a veterinarian in 1989. I’ve only worked in two clinics throughout my career, and I’ve been at my current one for well over 20 years. This biography isn’t that unique for many baby boomers like myself, but I imagine it must seem quite unusual to younger WSVMA members.
While in vet school at WSU in the 80’s I was a joiner. Most of us were at that time. I was introduced to the workings of the WSVMA while serving as student body president. Through that experience, I loved meeting so many veterinary leaders passionate about serving their colleagues and the profession.
Upon graduation, like so many of us, I focused on practice, practice ownership, marriage, raising children… Organized veterinary medicine didn’t have a place anywhere near the top of my “to do” list for the next two decades. And to be honest, I was quite content being ignorant to all that the WSVMA did while I was focused on my practice and my family. It wasn’t until I was invited to serve on a Declaw Task Force a few years ago that I realized that a solo practitioner like myself could have a voice outside of my small practice community. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much I was missing out on by being part of a wider community of veterinary professionals. Although I am dedicated to serve this organization, I know that I will never be able to give back half of what I have benefited by being involved with the WSVMA.
You don’t need to wait as long as I did. There are lots of opportunities to serve that don’t involve long term commitments. If you have a desire to get involved in any way, please reach out by sending an email to [email protected]. The more people that get involved, the stronger and more diverse this organization will become.
As I said before, my generation is made up of joiners. We joined organizations like the WSVMA because that was what we were supposed to do. That’s not the case today, and it’s a good thing. There should be a reason. There should be value obtained from the money spent to be a member. I can truly say that everyone on the WSVMA Board of Directors sees this as a core directive. We need to be an organization worth joining. Our profession is changing rapidly in many ways. In order to best represent and serve our membership into 2020 and beyond, we need to hear from as many voices as possible to anticipate what those changes look like to each and every one of you.
By Dr. Gary Marshall, WSVMA President.
Posted November 1, 2019