Dr. Erin Haroldson Nominated for AVMA HOD Alternate Delegate

Dr. Erin Haroldson Nominated for AVMA HOD Alternate Delegate

Where did you attend veterinary school?

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.

Where do you practice veterinary medicine?

After graduation, I practiced at Country Hills Animal Health in Eden, Wisconsin. In 2006, I joined All Pets Veterinary Clinic, an exclusive small animal practice, in Middleton, Wisconsin, and became a partner about five years ago.

How long have you been a WVMA member? Please explain your involvement with the WVMA.

I have been a WVMA member since 2000 when I first started veterinary school. As a student, I served on the Public Health and Safety Committee. Since graduation, I have participated in the future leaders Veterinary Leadership Conference program and served on the WVMA Task Force for Strategic Planning, the OSHA WVMA Task Force and the Non-Scientific Continuing Education Committee.

To date, what impact have you had on organized veterinary medicine and veterinary medicine as a whole?

Most of my personal impact within the profession has been in the community outreach and education realm. I have had multiple opportunities to go into public school classrooms to discuss dog bite prevention, how to care for pets, and a “typical day” in a small animal clinic (if such a thing even exists!). Many of my clients’ children have also job shadowed me in the clinic setting. I am honored to be able to help expose these kids to positive and early experiences within veterinary medicine! I have also had opportunities to be interviewed on the local news in order to educate the public on
tick-borne disease and prevention and animal abuse involving Animal Rescue & Veterinary Support Services (ARVSS) rescue dogs for whom our clinic provides veterinary care.

What are the biggest issues facing the future of organized veterinary medicine?

I find the mental health crisis within our profession to be at the top of the list. According to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on the mental health crisis in veterinary medicine, veterinarians reported client complaints (including cyberbullying) to be one of the most significant stressors affecting mental well-being. The impact of cyberbullying can be not only all-consuming, but even life shattering. Having been cyberbullied myself, I want others to realize they are not alone and that multiple resources are available to help safeguard their own emotional well-being.

Veterinary student debt load is also a leading issue which is potentially even impacting the increase in corporate buyouts of many general practices. With rising student debt, many veterinary professionals are not equipped to buy out seasoned veterinarians that are planning for retirement. There are creative solutions for financing business loans and investing with partners so that ownership can be affordable. In the end, it can provide a win-win
situation for everyone.

Why do you want to serve as the AVMA HOD Alternate Delegate?

There is enormous satisfaction in being able to give something back to my profession as a whole. I am excited to address many of the issues veterinarians face, gain a better understanding of the legislative process and meet some new faces in the veterinary