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The Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) has undergone a series of governance and structural changes over the past year and a half, allowing the organization to be more active and relevant to students. Joe Esch, senior veterinary student and SAVMA President for 2011-2012, attended the 2011 AVMA Annual Convention with other students and faculty from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Joe is the first Ohio State veterinary student to serve as SAVMA President.
He had the opportunity to address the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) at the convention. To the HOD, he spoke about the transformation that SAVMA has undergone, and he also commented on SAVMA’s success in increasing communication within the organization as well as with other veterinary student organizations.
Joe recognized the advances made by the AVMA to become more supportive of veterinary students. “AVMA has been increasing their support of veterinary students by creating new programs for recent graduates, as well as through support for a new online dues system,” said Joe. “These actions are greatly appreciated by SAVMA.”
Already, in the short amount of time that Esch has served as SAVMA President, he has had some significant accomplishments. Esch is just the second SAVMA President to sit on the AVMA executive board, and he also has increased communications between the SAVMA Executive Board and SAVMA HOD members. Furthermore, he lead SAVMA’s governance changes and pushed for the changes to be more relevant to veterinary students.
For the remainder of the 2011-2012 term, Esch still has many goals. “I would like to increase advocacy for veterinary students within AVMA, as well as to continue to be the student voice and speak on behalf of veterinary students everywhere,” said Joe. “Additionally, I hope to continue to focus on communication between the SAVMA Executive Board and SAVMA Delegates, and also to increase SAVMA’s communication with veterinary students.” Furthermore, he hopes to continue advocating for an increase in cooperation between veterinary students and changes within the profession as a whole.
Joe advises veterinary students to get involved in student veterinary organizations. “There are lots of ways to be involved and one of the easiest ways is by being involved with your local SCAVMA Chapter, “ Joe said. “We all have tough course loads but it is easy to still be involved on a local level, both in veterinary school and also within your state veterinary medical associations.
“Being involved with organized veterinary medicine has given me a new perspective on many issues within veterinary medicine and how the leaders are affecting change during these challenging times,” he added.