Viticus Group Blog

3 Important Current Events in Veterinary Medicine

Posted by Abby Crimm
 Staying on top of everything going on in the industry can be tough, so we'll help by filling you in on some hot topics—the One Health Initiative, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, and wellbeing.

Knowing what’s going on in the veterinary world involves reading magazines, getting newsletters, and going to conferences—things that can something slip through the cracks of a busy veterinary professional’s schedule.

That’s why we snagged the president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Dr. John Howe, for this Quick Cup of Knowledge. He makes it his job to be involved in all the latest in the veterinary industry and to communicate what you need to know.

One Health Initiative

The most far-reaching and holistic movement that AVMA is a part of is called the One Health Initiative, uniting veterinary and human medicine to solve global problems. As stated on its website, the idea is to build “a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment.”

This initiative is exciting because of the opportunity to collaborate with other veterinarians, physicians, public health officials, environmental researchers, and more to make the world safer. The veterinary arm of this project can involve individual animal health, population health, detecting disease, and food health.

For example, Dr. Howe became interested in aquatic medicine when his home state, Minnesota, was working to prevent viral hemorrhagic septicemia from getting to their lakes. State officials recruited veterinarians and educated them, leading Dr. Howe to take more than 300 hours of CE and become certified with the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA). Veterinary medicine not only works with pet fish, but with food supplies, farm-raised fish, and other areas of much importance to everyone.  

It’s important and empowering to remember that veterinarians are public health officers. In the veterinary field, we protect pets and families. Communicating what you learn from initiatives like these and the great things organizations are doing to improve our world invigorates the industry and adds value in the eyes of our clients.

Fairness to Pet Owners Act

The Fairness to Pet Owners Act (also informally coined the Unfairness to Veterinarians Act) is another trending issue in veterinary medicine. The legislation introduced this year would require veterinarians to provide clients with copies of all companion-animal prescriptions, whether they want them or not.

The argument for the federal mandate is that it would allow pet owners to shop around and find the best deal on that drug, making pet care more affordable. However, it also drives business away from the small veterinary clinics and potentially ends relationships clinics have with pharmaceutical companies that also supply free or cost-efficient CE, leading to lesser care for patients and clients.

That extra time needed with each client to write prescriptions for every condition the patient has, organizations like AVMA would argue, is not only costly but also unnecessary. Veterinary professionals are already overseen by state boards, professional organizations, and a self-imposed written code of ethics, making the federal mandate unfair for veterinary clinics competing against big businesses like Walmart and Walgreens.

Organizations like AVMA have their own lobbying efforts to make sure the relatively small veterinary community has a voice on issues like this legislation.

Well-being

If you haven’t heard about the new focus on wellness in the veterinary community—well, now you have. Due to perfectionist personalities and high suicide rates in the profession, personal well-being has become a prioritized topic.

Keeping a healthy work-life balance, avoiding debilitating compassion fatigue, learning to be financially stable, and having resources to turn to for suicide prevention and sexual harassment are some of the common areas of focus.

Organizations like WVC and AVMA have yearly wellness summits and online courses to help members of the industry feel empowered and supported in their efforts. Dr. Howe mentions that one thing AVMA particularly is working on is getting wellness resources and representatives at more veterinary schools.

These three movements in veterinary medicine are changing the way we practice in positive ways. Getting involved and staying informed could drastically elevate your career and help patients and teams everywhere.

Stay in the Know!

To learn about the latest events and advancements in veterinary medicine, come to WVC’s 92nd Annual Conference in February!

Click the link to subscribe to our YouTube channel or check out our WVC Resource Library full of great podcasts, videos, and digital downloads!

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