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Celebrating World Veterinary Day 2023
This year’s theme spotlights diversity, equity, and inclusion in the veterinary space
Happy World Veterinary Day! An annual celebration of the veterinary profession, this holiday was founded in 2000 when the World Veterinary Association (WVA) decided to hold it on the last Saturday of each April.1 It has had a unique theme each year since its initiation, with this year’s being “Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI) in the Veterinary Profession.”
World Veterinary Day 2023 theme
According to the WVA,2 this theme focuses on recognizing efforts from veterinarians, veterinary associations, and others involved in the field who advocate for fairness and equity. This is important as eliminating barriers and promoting inclusiveness through DEI is vital in a diverse world and improves veterinary professionals’ well-being.
“Embracing the differences means respecting and recognizing everyone, feeling safe, heard, and valued no matter the age, class, ethnicity, gender, health, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical size, education level, job level and function, personality traits, or other differences,” the WVA announcement stated.2
What’s more, since 2019, the WVA has teamed up with Health for Animals,1 the global animal health industry association, on the World Veterinary Day Award, which highlights 1 WVA member’s activities associated with 2023 theme.
Why veterinarians love being veterinarians
In honor of World Veterinary Day, veterinarians shared with dvm360® their favorite part about their career. “What I love about being a veterinarian is helping and educating people about pets and animals and wildlife and sharing the conversation about wildlife conservation,” said Phil Tucak, BSc, BVMS, Wildlife Outreach Vet and dvm360 Australian correspondent.
Donita McCants, DVM, founder and owner of Dr Donita's Veterinary Concierge Services, LLC, shared, "What I love most about working as a veterinary professional is that you get to do whatever you want. You get to work, like me as a mobile vet, and you have so many options to choose from as a professional. So, whatever you want to do, you just decide and the world is yours."
"What I like the most about being a veterinary professional is all the possibilities we have…In my specialty or my field, which is exotic animal medicine or zoological animal medicine, it's always a new challenge every day. It's always a species you never seen or a disease or a lesion that you have never seen on that species…It's constantly being comfortable being uncomfortable," stated Laila Proença, DVM, PhD, MV, MSc, DACZM, CEO and founder of VetAhead. "The other thing I love about being a veterinarian is the ability to teach and share knowledge…I have learned that I have a lot of joy from watching people succeed once I teach them something or encourage them. It's always as good—or if not even better—than having success myself,” she added.
"I love being a veterinarian because I can help heal people through healing their pets. And also thanks to the versatility of the veterinary field, I'm able to be a trailblazer in the field of veterinary telehealth," said Shadi Ireifej, DVM, DACVS, CEO and chief medical officer at VetTriage.
- World Veterinary Day 2023 promotes diversity, equity, inclusion. American Veterinary Medical Association. March 8, 2023. Accessed April 27, 2023. https://www.avma.org/news/world-veterinary-day-2023-promotes-diversity-equity-inclusion
- World Veterinary Day. World Veterinary Association. January 12, 2023. Accessed April 27, 2023. https://worldvet.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/WVDA-2023-Announcement-and-instructions_final.pdf