Due to his hectic schedule, Crawford rarely travels outside the beltway anymore. "The commissioner needs to be here," he explains.
By any standards, the 66-year-old veterinarian runs at a quick clip.
"It's almost like playing a sport. You have to take care of yourself — eat and sleep, and all of that. It takes conditioning
to do it."
Crawford relies on speechwriters and staff to help him prepare.
"Now we have the controversy about the flu vaccine and the post-approval of drugs. It just gets enough newspaper and television
attention that these both have. Everyone wants you to talk about the issue. If your speech isn't centered on the issue, then
that's all the questions you will get. So, it sort of looks like you are evading the issue. Sometimes it is templated; sometimes
What veterinarians should know
For those wondering if Crawford's role at FDA also has elevated veterinary medicine in a positive way, the Auburn University
veterinary graduate thinks it has.
"I have been able to run the place for a couple of years. If anyone thought a veterinarian couldn't do it, they are wrong."
He adds that the two veterinarians in the Senate have "elevated veterinary medicine a great deal." He's referring to Senators
Wayne Allard and John Ensign.
"I don't think anyone has anything against veterinarians; they just don't think of them as doing this kind of thing. And yet,
on the other hand, similarly trained professionals are expected to run this program or the other. I think this does advance
In the end, Crawford has one message for his colleagues: He hopes veterinarians will continue to have constructive involvement
"They shouldn't think of FDA as the enemy. I think it ought to be a source of great pride to veterinarians that there
is an entity in FDA that looks out after them, polices them and causes research to be done to help them and animals. Having
an armamentarium of drugs is a magnificent thing. It has never been as good in any other country, and I've never been more
proud of it."