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.
Navneet Saini and Michael Hung
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
Contributed by Roxana Bordbar, Class of 2018
In front of the CVMA headquarters in Sacramento, from left to right: Valerie Fenstermaker, Vicky Yang, Elizabeth Malcolm, Grant Miller, Roxana Bordbar, Julie Dobbs, Audrey Buatois, Elizabeth Tenborg, Christina Thompson, Jenny Tsai, Christina DiCaro, Della Yee.
For many veterinary students at UC Davis, the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), may often seem like an enigmatic entity. Everyone knows what the CVMA is, but many are not quite sure what the CVMA actually does behind the scenes. Thus, it was the mission of Elizabeth Malcolm and I to change that, at least for a few students. We wanted to bring students up close and personal to the action—we wanted to show them what the CVMA and organized veterinary medicine really does for the veterinary profession.
It all started in February of 2016, when Elizabeth and I had the life-changing opportunity of attending the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) legislative fly-in as the SAVMA Delegate and CVMA Student Representative, respectively. To sum it up, we flew to Washington D.C. where we were briefed by the AVMA on current legislation important to veterinarians and veterinary students, and we subsequently went to Capitol Hill to advocate and lobby for these positions at the offices of Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and Congressman John Garamendi. Let’s just say that it was an incredibly successful trip; we learned so much and we came back invigorated and full of passion for organized veterinary medicine and advocacy! Continue reading