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Member Spotlight

Published: 8/2/2017

Meet the American Veterinary Medical Association

AVMA President and WSAVA Foundation Member Dr Michael Topper introduces one of our largest member associations which represents more than 89,000 veterinarians working in a wide variety of areas, including private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia and uniformed services. While most of its members work in the United States, it has members working across the globe to protect animal, human and public health.


What is the AVMA’s mission?

The AVMA’s mission is to lead the profession by advocating for its members and advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health. Our vision is to be the trusted leader in protecting, promoting and advancing a strong, unified veterinary profession that meets the needs of society.

How would you describe the AVMA’s relationship with the WSAVA?

The AVMA became a member of WSAVA in 2011, and has since had a strong relationship with WSAVA that will only continue to grow in the years ahead. As an active member, the AVMA has a designated liaison to the WSAVA General Assembly (Dr Laurel Kaddatz) who is appointed by our Board of Directors. Dr Kaddatz communicates back to the AVMA through his membership on our Committee on International Veterinary Affairs, which has an advisory role to the AVMA Board. In addition, the WSAVA president is always an invited international dignitary to our annual AVMA Convention, and the AVMA president often attends WSAVA Congress and General Assembly.

What are the key challenges facing veterinarians in the USA and is AVMA focused on any particular initiatives?

The AVMA is doing a lot of good work in addressing issues important to the US veterinary profession, including educational debt, practice profitability, individual and workplace wellness, animal welfare, telehealth, antimicrobial resistance and One Health. We are committed to faithfully serving our members and the profession and advocating for those initiatives that impact the animals and people we serve.

Why is WSAVA membership important for veterinarians in the USA?

Because the AVMA represents roughly 80 percent of US veterinarians, our membership in WSAVA provides our members working in companion and small animal practice with additional resources from a global perspective. In addition, AVMA members have the opportunity to serve on WSAVA governing bodies and expert councils and committees, which help develop global guidelines on everything from pain management in small animals to the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases.

How would you like to see the relationship between the AVMA and the WSAVA develop in the years ahead?

As time goes on, the AVMA can partner with WSAVA and its other members on mutually beneficial programs that provide global opportunities and experiences for our members and student members.

Tell us about the AVMA Members informal gathering you are planning for WSAVA World Congress in Copenhagen.

I invite any AVMA members or US veterinarians attending the 2017 WSAVA World Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, to join us for an informal gathering on Wednesday, September 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in meeting room 5-6 at the Bella Centre. No set agenda— we are just interested in hearing what is important to our members and other US colleagues who are attending the WSAVA Congress.

If you plan to drop in on Drs Topper and Kaddatz on September 27, please RSVP to