06 Jul AVMA Legislative Fly-In Great Opportunity for Students
By Zachary C. Tooley, WVMA Member and 2LT U.S. Army Veterinary Corps
Over the past year, I have learned about the different facets of veterinary medicine and the incredible opportunities available to specialize in a variety of fields. I was also made aware of the opportunity for veterinary students to attend the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Legislative Fly-In. Student AVMA (SAVMA) President Marie Bucko, who is also a mentor and friend, informed me of the opportunity and stressed the importance of being involved in veterinary policy and the direct impact it has on our profession.
My interest was piqued. I wanted to attend the Fly-In so I could learn more about the policies currently impacting the veterinary profession, as well as the work that goes into adopting policy with the interest of veterinary medicine in mind.
Each veterinary school can send at least one participant to the Fly-In, with a generous stipend provided by the AVMA Government Relation Division. Regarding the event itself, students and veterinarians from across the U.S. were given the opportunity to be further educated about the legislative process that directly impacts the veterinary profession. I was able to meet with the staff of Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin to discuss supporting several pieces of legislation, including the Employer Participation in Repayment Act and the One Health Act, as well as a funding request
for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Each of these pieces of legislation is crucial to both the veterinary profession and the health of the nation, and I am proud to have a small part in finding support for these bills.
I was lucky enough to be accompanied to the Fly-In by my former employer and the current AVMA President-Elect, Dr. Douglas Kratt. Dr. Kratt provided a great deal of insight on the concept of One Health and gave the authentic viewpoint that only a successful small business owner could bring to the table.
Thank you very much to the WVMA and the UW-Madison SAVMA for your generous support, and to the AVMA Government Relations Division for hosting the event. It was a great honor to represent both the WVMA and UW School of Veterinary Medicine SAVMA chapter.
Zachary Tooley, Hortonville, Wisconsin, just completed his first year of veterinary medical school. He’s newly commissioned into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps on a Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) scholarship.