SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — On the heels of an internal report advocating radical change to the way the organization serves the public and the profession
it represents, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) released a new plan to govern its growth over the next several
The AVMA strategic plan, covering 2012 through 2015, stresses efforts to deal with the trials facing the veterinary profession
such as decreasing patient visits and establishing veterinarians as the authorities on all things relating to animal health.
The plan was approved by the AVMA Executive Board in June, and it attempts to address many of the concerns outlined by the
association's 20/20 Vision Committee earlier this year. This committee called on the association to take a more proactive
role in guiding the profession through changes in the marketplace or risk becoming obsolete.
Additionally, the 20/20 Vision Committee outlined goals the association should strive to meet by the year 2020—from business
practices and leadership structure to adding value to the way the veterinary profession is perceived by the public.
In response to the report, and through efforts by the AVMA House of Delegates, AVMA outlined five main goals over the next
few years, with specific actions that should be pursued under the strategic plan.
The primary goal, AVMA says, is to beef up the economics of the veterinary profession.
"Economics was certainly the No. 1 concern of every one of our constituents who had something to say," explains Dr. Ted Cohn,
chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force and District IX representative on the AVMA Executive Board.
The first step, according to the plan, is to focus on identifying ways to make the delivery of veterinary medicine more efficient
and profitable. The association will advocate the use of business models focused on client service and that promote the value
and utilization of credentialed veterinary technicians in practice. The plan also calls for trying new ways to educate veterinarians
about practice and financial management.
Work in this area has already begun, AVMA says, following the announcement that it helped form a new partnership with the
American Animal Hospital Association, Banfield Pet Hospital and a host of animal-health companies committed to building caseload
for veterinary practices (see story, "Veterinary groups form coalition to jumpstart visits to veterinarians").
Understanding the veterinary medical workforce is the next step, the strategic plan says. Over-served and under-served markets,
as well as new career opportunities outside of private practice, should be identified, according to the plan. (See story,
"Rural woes don't reflect overall practice sales market, brokers say".) AVMA's strategic plan also recommends the use of new
recruitment strategies that will help the profession enroll students and place new veterinarians in areas with the most need.