WSVMA Board discusses the future of veterinary medicine

  |   Professional News, WSVMA News

In February, a joint commission created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) released a report identifying emerging trends that will affect the veterinary profession during the next generation, providing insights that may be used to adapt to the profession’s changing environment. “The Future of Veterinary Medicine,” produced by the AVMA and AAVMC’s Veterinary Futures Commission, was published following four face-to-face working sessions and more than a year and a half of research and investigation by the commission’s members, composed of experts from academia, clinical practice and leadership positions within the profession. The Commission was organized to think not about a future shaped by complacency and aversion to change, but a future with extensive opportunities, some never imagined before.

WSVMA Board of Directors devoted time to discuss each section and produced the following comments and thoughts about our individual and state organization’s roles in developing the future of veterinary medicine.

Culture/Professionalism (Dr. Gary Marshall)

  • Veterinarians need to take up our positions as leaders in a proactive (vs. reactive) way.
  • We are at risk of being pushed aside by corporations, big pharma, and other outside forces.
  • We have a place at the table and we need to ensure we are present in these conversations.

Teaching and Learning (Dr. Richard DeBowes)

  • Teaching reports such as this are increasingly populated with summaries of the application of flipped classrooms, emerging teaching technologies, the use of technology based, audience feedback programs that gather data on feedback and comprehension in real time, multi-center medical rounds, the use of DaVinci-like robotic systems for surgical education, table top emergency response trainings and emerging programs in a host of skill domains.
  • The application of technology and simulations to veterinary (and human) medical education is proceeding at a rapid pace.
  • The adjustments we have made to accommodate our need to provide an effective professional education in the face of COVID-19 serve to underscore how much the pace of progress can be accelerated when encouraged by fate or required by those whom we serve.

Veterinary Role in Food Production (Dr. Jean Gulbransen)

  • There are limited (planetary) resources available to us that we must take into account.
  • This has sparked the rise of innovative new sources of food such as laboratory raised meat and poultry products, and with it a change in regulation.
  • Veterinarians are trained as comparative thinkers and work on food safety/regulation currently.
  • Veterinarians have a role to play in feeding the public while keeping them safe; this role may be changing as we take into account the environmental impacts of traditional farming/agriculture.
  • We must consider the role of the farm animal clinician and it’s impacts on the environment.

Discovery (Dr. Jennifer Bennett)

  • Veterinary medicine should be recruiting for those interested in the field of research, to ensure the production of cross-trained veterinarians at the forefront of global health.
  • Traditional research models have been inside of the institutions of higher learning, but this model is being replaced by private foundations, research institutes and commercial companies developing needed solutions to real world problems (i.e. COVID-19 rapid test kits).
  • Veterinarians should also take a more prominent place at the table in the political realm with support for legal internships, political candidates and PACs at the state and national levels:
    • Where was the Veterinarian on the Coronavirus Task Force?
    • Donate to your state and national PACs today to represent the voice of veterinarians.

Global Safety and Security (Dr. Lindsay Hornickel)

  • Antimicrobial resistance is a global issue that directly impacts and is impacted by the choices veterinarians make on a daily basis.
  • Pandemics (past/present/future) have involved veterinarians on many levels represented by different national organizations including the universities and state and federal government entities; we have recently brought this to the attention of state and local government through lobbying efforts and our involvement in state decisions impacting veterinarians.

Healthcare Delivery (Dr. Jennifer Koenig)

  • Veterinarians must be focused on home healthcare information delivery and work to integrate the latest technology available to us for advancing clinical practice.
  • Many new advances in healthcare delivery now abound including self-check-in/out software, telemedicine and artificial intelligence triaging, and remote viewing of exams/client interactions.
  • Technology must allow us to integrate data, examinations, communication and plans.

Click here to learn more about the “Future of Veterinary Medicine” Report.


Posted June 26, 2020