AVMA News

AVMA President Carlson touches on power of belonging


By R. Scott Nolen
Published: 18 August 2023


Dr. Rena Carlson, AVMA president, encouraged veterinary leaders to take steps now that will ensure the future success of veterinary colleagues and the profession overall.

In her speech before the AVMA House of Delegates' (HOD) regular annual session July 14 in Denver, Dr. Carlson called on fellow veterinarians to create conditions that will continue to remove barriers to wellbeing and facilitate personal growth, professional development, and enhance financial success.

A 1989 veterinary graduate of Washington State University, Dr. Carlson was elected last summer by the HOD as the 2023-24 AVMA president. She succeeded Dr. Lori Teller as AVMA president at the close of AVMA Convention 2023 in Denver.

Dr. Carlson has been active in organized veterinary medicine for over two decades, initially holding leadership positions within the Eastern Idaho VMA and Idaho VMA. She then served in the AVMA's HOD as the Idaho alternate delegate and delegate for 10 years and on the AVMA Board of Directors (BOD) from 2014-20, with her final year on the Board as chair.

As part of her address, Dr. Carlson encouraged her colleagues to think about the view of the profession veterinarians want the world to see and understand as well as what vision they want to manifest for themselves. The collective identity of veterinary professionals, she explained, is made up by these stories they construct, which make meaning and create purpose in their lives.

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