Brandt strives for all-inclusive association


NCVEI, ongoing programs first items on incoming president's agenda

Every member of the American Veterinary Medical Association should berecognized as an integral part of its functions and programming, accordingto the association's incoming president.

Dr. James Brandt, a retired small animal practitioner, says inclusionof membership and cohesion of all areas of veterinary medicine, will beimportant components to his leadership initiative when he takes over thepresidency of the AVMA this month at its annual meeting in Boston.

"We need to make sure everybody is included in anything we do,"he says. "The AVMA is designed to serve all veterinarians and we don'twant to leave anybody out in any case."

One all-encompassing initiative in the works at AVMA is the future launchof a mentoring program, which would mentor young and old (pre-veterinarystudents, those in their practicing career, and those approaching retirement).He and other AVMA members plan to call for a program that would be a modelmembers could follow.

"This is an important committee we are looking at to give peoplehelp in getting through life. The profession is very small, but we are probablythe most diverse profession in the world. We need to hang together,"he says.

Brandt, a 1964 graduate of Oklahoma State University, operated the BrandtVeterinary Clinic in Nokomis, Florida, an AAHA-certified hospital, from1965 until 1998, when he sold the business. He also ran a branch practicein nearby Venice, Fla., the Venice Pines Veterinary Clinic, which he soldin 1999.

Ongoing goals

Brandt plans to continue what his predecessors started by focusing onimproving existing services rather than adding new programs.

"My main goal in veterinary medicine," Brandt says, "iscontinuous improvement in what we offer to our members in AVMA rather thanstarting a lot of new programs that may require a lot of money and effort.

"For instance, we didn't plan on doing a lot with the model practiceact. But this has become a major issue in veterinary medicine in the pastcouple months, so that will be on my agenda."

The National Commission for Veterinary Economic Issues is another focalpoint, Brandt says. Although not a member, "I am their biggest supporter,"the retired practitioner says.

"I feel the results of that commission will be very important inthe future of our profession and the economic levels of our profession,"he says. "We felt very strongly that the economic base needs to beraised so we can enjoy the efforts for our profession and pay decent salariesto our staff and associate veterinarians and still be available for prudenteconomic benefit to the client."

Raising the economic base would allow for better equipment and betterfacilities, he says.

Brandt also envisions better awareness of the diverse opportunities availableto all levels of expertise.

"The high profile of veterinary medicine - whether it's good orbad because of the zoonotic diseases, BSE, foot-and-mouth disease and theWest Nile virus - has really put veterinary medicine into the limelight,"Brandt says. "The work that we do is, to a certain degree, being recognized."

Even more significant is the potential for young graduates entering thefield.

"There's so many places they can go, no longer just a small animalor companion animal practice," says Brandt. "We would like tosee them more involved in the public health arena, industry arena, or researcharena so the visibility in veterinary medicine can actually take its properposition in the scale of professions. We feel we're very important and willbe more important in the future."

First things first

Before charting the future of veterinary medicine, Brandt hopes to addressan immediate concern within the AVMA.

Upon his return from a recent board meeting, Brandt said he was dismayedby "an inordinate amount of time spent on a new American Associationof Veterinary State Boards proposal in which we have tried to elicit a cooperationbetween the AVMA and the AAVSB (American Association of Veterinary StateBoards.)" (See related story, page 1.)

He contends the board recognizes the AAVSB proposal has its merits butis also a "flawed" effort.

"Take the definition of a veterinarian for example. The AVMA considersa veterinarian a person who has graduated from an accredited veterinarycollege. The AAVSB proposal assumes the definition of a veterinarian asone who has graduated from an accredited veterinary college and is licensedto practice," he says.

In other words, if Brandt were not licensed to practice in Florida, hecould not call himself a veterinarian, according to the proposal. The proposal,according to Brandt, would directly impact educators at the University ofFlorida for instance.

"That's just one example of the many flaws," he adds.


In addition to his AVMA duties, Brandt maintains membership in the AmericanAnimal Hospital Association, the American Heartworm Association and thestate and local veterinary associations. He has served as hospital directorof a local facility, bank director for 20 years, volunteered for local humanesocieties, and has served on the animal control board. When not expendinghis energies in career-related endeavors, he finds time for church activityand rotary clubs.

"I haven't made that great accomplishment yet, but I have had avery successful practice career," he says.

Related Videos
© 2023 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.