I’m Michael Hung, currently the Senior CVMA Representative and from the Class of 2019. In April, Navneet Saini, the Senior SAVMA Rep and a fellow Class of 2019er, and I got to attend the AVMA Fly-In in Washington DC as UCDSVM representatives.
Although their work might be unknown to some in the veterinary profession, the AVMA actively advocates for the veterinary profession on a national and political level. The Governmental Relationships Division (GRD) meets with and lobbies political figures in order to advance veterinary medicine and animal welfare. A few weeks ago, Navneet Saini (Class of 2019) and I had the opportunity to represent UC Davis to do just that. The AVMA Legislative Fly-In invites students from veterinary schools all over the country to our nation’s capital to participate in this unique and important event so that we may see how veterinary medicine is involved in our nation’s political process.
The event lasted two days: the first as a kind of “training” meeting to prep us for what would happen the next day, and included a general overview to the political side of AVMA (spoiler alert: there’s a lot of stuff going on) and the wonderful world of lobbying. It was during this time that they began to explain and detail the two pieces of legislation we would be advocating for as veterinary students: The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act, or VMLRPE Act, (try saying that four times…which we had to do) and the Re-Authorization of the Higher Education Act. Continue reading