Category Archives: Advocacy in Veterinary Medicine

Advocating for the Veterinary Profession

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

Leadership Critical to Future of Veterinary Medicine

Delegates to the SAVMA Symposium included from left: Navneet Saini (Class of 2019), Elizabeth Malcolm (Class of 2018), and Jamie Lemus (Class of 2020)

Contributed by Elizabeth Malcolm, Class of 2018 

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the SAVMA Symposium at Texas A&M along with seven other veterinary students from UC Davis. I attended on behalf of the SAVMA Executive Board, while other students attended to represent our local chapter.

During the House of Delegates (HOD) meetings, Navneet Saini (SAVMA Delegate and Class of 2019) accepted the Teaching Excellence award on behalf of Dr. Jim Clark, which was a huge honor as this was the second year in a row UC Davis has received this award. In addition, the HOD recognized Tereza Chylkova (Class of 2017) as the recipient of the Jon Pitts award. This award recognizes one veterinary student that has gone above and beyond in service and dedication to the veterinary profession. The awards received during Symposium are of high honor, and represent the incredible students and faculty we are blessed to have here at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

My involvement in organized medicine has been incredibly rewarding, as it has allowed me to experience first-hand the impact that one person, be that a student or veterinarian, can have on our profession. After I return from each of these symposiums, I always feel inspired and motivated to advocate further for issues that affect our profession. Whether the topic relates to challenges we face such as student debt, or mental health and wellness, or conversely celebrating scientific advances we have made, everything discussed on a national level has direct impacts on our experiences as veterinarians.

If there is one thing I could pass on to students of this profession, I would encourage them to become as involved in leadership roles and organized medicine as possible. Our profession is incredibly small and interconnected, and it is magnificent to feel like we can all make a difference for ourselves and others. I have no double that is truly the best profession in the world.


Learning the Importance of Advocacy in Veterinary Medicine

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.

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