It is truly the highest honor of my career to be representing our profession as AVMA president and writing my first President’s Column. I want to acknowledge my husband and children who have lived their life around owning a veterinary hospital and family vacations that inevitably revolved around various veterinary conferences. Many of you may relate to this lifestyle. With the honor and privilege that comes with this position also comes great responsibility. I take this role very seriously and pledge to work on your behalf to strengthen and protect the AVMA’s voice and impact moving forward.
I became involved in organized veterinary medicine early in my career and quickly realized the importance of veterinarians working together for the benefit of our profession and society. Giving back to the profession and the people who have given me so much became a guiding light that continues to steer me on my journey today.
As with any profession, veterinary medicine is facing some challenges, but we are transforming them into opportunities to support veterinarians and their teams. The AVMA has been—and always will be—the leading voice for veterinarians, and so it is my hope to serve all AVMA members, listen to all perspectives, build relationships, and advance our profession. My sincere goal is for all veterinarians to have a professionally rewarding career, and I want to do my part in leaving this profession better than I found it.
As a wife, mother, grandmother, and former practice owner, I know the challenges and struggles of handling the many obligations of work and life while trying to fit in leisure time. Meeting the demands of our profession, living life, and managing a family have strained the wellbeing of our colleagues. While the veterinary profession has a high level of respect in our society, the only group who cares more about veterinarians and the wellbeing of the profession … are veterinarians. As we give of ourselves selflessly, we must also take the time to recharge and take care of each other. Building a culture of wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within the entire veterinary health care team has been—and will continue to be—a priority for me.
Veterinary medicine is one of the most trusted professions around, and I will do my best in the year ahead to help the AVMA continue leveraging this goodwill in our advocacy efforts to improve animal and public health.
Thank you, again, for this opportunity to serve the profession we all hold so dear.
Rena Carlson, DVM