U.S. veterinary profession turns 150

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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) turns 150 in 2013, and the AVMA will be using this significant anniversary as an opportunity to educate the public about the important role veterinary medicine plays in society with a traveling Smithsonian exhibit and coffee table book.

“I’m extremely proud that the AVMA is turning 150 this year, but even more than that I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments of our members over the past 150 years,” says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA.  “Our members have done critical research on deadly pathogens, like Salmonella — named for an early AVMA president—typhus, malaria, bubonic plague, yellow fever and, more recently, West Nile Virus, HIV and Ebola virus. A veterinarian invented the hypodermic needle.  Veterinarians keep our food safe, maintain the health of our livestock and pets, and serve our country in the military. In short, they’ve saved many lives and made the lives of innumerable animals and people far better.  Our 150th anniversary is an opportunity to remember these accomplishments, and to thank our members for everything that they do.”

The AVMA was founded as the United States Veterinary Medical Association on June 9-10, 1863, at a meeting at the Astor House in New York City during the U.S. Civil War. Representatives of seven states attended, including New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, Ohio and Delaware.

The AVMA is undertaking a number of efforts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Association and the long and impressive history of the profession:

*The AVMA has secured a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to create a 1,000-square-foot exhibition on wheels that will tour the country from coast to coast, introducing visitors to innovative fields of veterinary medical research and application, and giving them new ways to look at the enduring relationship between animals and people. This traveling exhibit will begin its two-year, 75-city tour during the AVMA’s annual convention July 19-23 in Chicago, and it will include visits to state and county fairs, science museums, university campuses, veterinary schools, zoos and other animal-related locations in American cities.

*“The AVMA: 150 year of Education, Science and Service” was recently published as a celebration of the profession. It features a history of the AVMA, including the association’s role in improving veterinary education, and a history of progress made by the profession since 1863. 

The book will be available for sale at www.avma.org, with proceeds directed to AVMA future-generation programming, which includes support of initiatives such as the Early Career Development Committee and the Compass Mentoring Program.

For more information about the AVMA and its 150th anniversary, visit www.avma.org.



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