30 Jul Dr. Thomas Bach Nominated for WVMA President-Elect
Where did you attend veterinary school?
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994.
Where do you practice veterinary medicine?
I practice at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic in Madison. I am also an adjunct professor at
the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, a position I’ve held for nearly 20 years.
Please explain your involvement with the WVMA.
Shortly after graduating veterinary medical school, I was active with my local VMA in Dane County (secretary, president, some legislative involvement) and more recently chaired the Continuing Education Committee (in the WVMA Convention days).
What leadership and vision do you bring to the position?
I have owned two veterinary clinics and have been in this profession for a fair amount of time. I’m at a point where I feel comfortable with my understanding of the veterinary medical profession, how it has changed and how it will continue to change.
To date, what impact have you had on organized veterinary medicine and veterinary medicine as a whole?
In addition to lecturing at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, my clinic has an almost daily pre-vet or current veterinary student visitor. I enjoy teaching and hope that at least some of the many visitors learned something valuable and will have a positive attitude about teaching and supporting others during their careers. My focus has always been on my family, health and business. At this point in my life, I feel like I have the experience and time to give back to our profession in other ways.
What are the biggest issues facing the future of organized veterinary medicine?
Our profession is changing, and it will always be a struggle for organized veterinary medicine to stay relevant. The old model of the male-owned clinic where everyone works 40-60 hours a week is ending. We need to support balanced living where we all strive to have a rewarding life outside of the clinic.
Rising educational costs and corporate ownership are big issues that will continue to impact our profession. An understanding of finance and economics has probably never been more important for veterinary students.
We need to get a better understanding of the factors that are making many members of our profession unhappy with their careers. I think, in addition to compassion fatigue, veterinarians can feel overworked, overstressed, underappreciated and underpaid. If you add to that financial and general life struggles, it is easy to understand how this can happen. I love that we are in a profession where we choose to follow our hearts rather than a clear road to financial gain. We practice in an incredibly rewarding profession and need to understand how to make our careers more closely aligned with our initial expectations.
Why do you want to serve as the WVMA President-Elect?
I love our profession and feel very fortunate to have made veterinary medicine my career. I want to continue to give back and organized veterinary medicine is designed to support our profession. I want to be involved in listening to what our membership wants and be a servant of positive change.