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Meeting solicits rules-making talks, survey data

Article

Chicago - The American Veterinary Medical Association's annual leadership conference agenda appears ordinary apart from an administrative rules rewrite.

CHICAGO — The American Veterinary Medical Association's annual leadership conference agenda appears ordinary apart from an administrative rules rewrite.

Dr. John De Jong

But the meeting's informal nature means anything can happen as the House of Delegates (HOD) gathers Jan. 5-7 at the InterContinental in Chicago.

The group is not generally authorized to take action during the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, which represents the first of two yearly HOD meetings. Yet controversial talk among some delegates could include pushing the Executive Board to grant AVMA directors autonomy concerning their division budgets and cutting the number of speeches by foreign veterinarians as a time-saver for the group's summer meeting. Discussions likely will include other topics for possible resolutions to be considered in July.

The official agenda, not released at presstime, includes a special session to allow a vote on the new HOD manual that accompanies last year's bylaws revision.

Survey data

Yet for most AVMA members, administrative bureaucracy pales in comparison to recent association survey data scheduled for presentation by AVMA Marketing Director Jim Flanigan. The report is expected to showcase various marketing surveys that include the public's perception of veterinarians and address how the rising cost of care affects DVM likability rates. Job satisfaction among veterinarians also is likely to be addressed. Survey results are slated for future issues of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Traditional presidential and treasury reports will follow as well as a presentation by American Animal Hospital Association delegate Dr. Merry Crimi, who is scheduled to talk on strategic planning for critical issues such as animal welfare and DVM economics. The meeting will continue with various committee reports and election candidates before breaking into reference committees to debate a minor bylaws change. From there the full House will reconvene, vote and adjourn.

Change for 2008

While the program remains typical, next year's gathering will be converted into a formal winter meeting that allows delegates to vote on issues biannually.

HOD members voted to revamp the meeting last July during the AVMA annual convention — the traditional delegate-voting venue. The goal: to provide delegates opportunity to make official decisions more than once a year. The AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference will be known as the Winter Session.

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