AVMA Looks to Make History With Future Leaders

The Future Leaders program develops the strengths and talents of up-and-coming veterinarians.


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Outgoing AVMA President Dr. Clark Fobian, second from right, presents half of the 2014-15 Future Leaders class.

Ken Niedziela

An American Veterinary Medical Association program designed to identify and encourage veterinarians interested in serving and leading the profession introduced its fourth class today in Denver at the organization’s annual convention.

The 2014-15 group of Future Leaders includes a U.S. Army Veterinary Corps colonel and two laboratory animal specialists.

The program, which receives financial support from drug maker Zoetis Animal Health of Florham Park, N.J., is open to veterinarians who earned their degree as recently as 1999 and have some leadership background.

“By selecting candidates with strong leadership attributes, who are already influential among their peers, and developing them into stronger leaders earlier, the Future Leaders program meets some of the key requirements for the future of veterinary medicine,” said Christine Jenkins, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, the chief veterinary medical officer with Zoetis’ U.S. group.

The Future Leaders will meet periodically and start work on a still-unidentified year-long project.

The previous class focused on assisting veterinarians who want to change their career path. The results included an online toolkit at AVMA.org/careerchange as well as an informational symposium and a luncheon held during the convention.

“The goal of the symposium was to illustrate to veterinarians in any stage of their career how they can transition away from traditional clinical practice if they desire,” said Sarah Reuss, VMD, a 2013-14 Future Leader.

The last class discovered in a survey of AVMA members that nearly 1 in 3 respondents was considering a move, most commonly from clinical practice to industry or academia.

“Change is a natural part of our profession because it inherently offers so many opportunities,” said 2013-14 Future Leader Heather Fowler, VMD, who is pursuing a doctorate in occupational and environmental hygiene at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

“We are leaving behind a fantastic toolkit designed specifically for veterinarians who are looking for a career change,” Dr. Fowler said.

The 10 members of the 2014-15 class are:

  • Erin Brannick, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVP, a pathologist and assistant professor at the University of Delaware.
  • Caitlin DeWilde, DVM, a companion animal practitioner and social media consultant in St. Louis.
  • Erin Frey, DVM, a companion animal practitioner in Raleigh, N.C.
  • Tracy Gluckman, DVM, a laboratory animal practitioner at Northwestern University.
  • Kris Helke, DVM, an associate professor at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.
  • Jeremy Keen, DVM, a companion animal practitioner in Jackson, Tenn.
  • Michelle Larsen, DVM, a clinic manager in Phoenix.
  • Col. Stephanie L. Mont of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Matthew D. Rosenbaum, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACLAM, a laboratory animal practitioner in Germantown, Tenn.
  • Julie Stafford, DVM, a mixed-animal practitioner in John Day, Ore.
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