Executive Council Addresses Veterinary Leadership Development at Texas A&M
August 22, 2005
On June 22-23, 2005, top leaders of the veterinary medical
profession met at Texas A&M University for a two day summit.
This historic meeting brought together for the first time,
executive leaders from all segments of the veterinary medical
profession to discuss the critical need for development of future
leaders in the veterinary medical profession. As the External
Advisory Council for the new Center for Executive Leadership in
Veterinary Medical Education at Texas A&M University, this
blue-ribbon panel focused on strategies for meeting the expanding
leadership roles of veterinarians in private practice, industry,
public health and education and how to address the shortages of
veterinary leaders in specific areas.
"The applications for a veterinary medical education are much
broader today than they were ten years ago," said Dr. E. Dean Gage,
director of Texas A&M University's Center for Executive
Leadership in Veterinary Medical Education. "There is a compelling
need for veterinary medical professionals to address the demands
that we are facing in the coming years. Through this inaugural
meeting of the advisory council, today's leaders in veterinary
medicine have made a strong commitment to help us develop the
leaders of tomorrow and to create a model program to share with
others," added Gage.
"The challenges facing society offer great opportunities for
veterinarians to make a difference using their professional
education to address critical areas of human and animal health,"
said H. Richard Adams, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at
Texas A&M. "We are proud to be working with executive leaders
from all segments of the veterinary medical profession to ensure
that leadership development is incorporated into the training for
all future veterinarians."
Fundamental to the advisory council's mission is identifying
major issues facing the veterinary medical profession and society
as related to the education and leadership training of future
veterinarians. Council members are developing opportunities within
their areas of expertise for students to further their veterinary
medical education, to expand the role of coaching and mentoring
students in veterinary medical education, and to broaden the
opportunities for veterinary students to gain valuable experience
as part of their formal education and professional development.
"We are developing a 'train-the-trainer' program to coach
faculty in areas within the existing veterinary medical curriculum
where communication, interpersonal relations and leadership skills
can be taught," said Gage. At Texas A&M, veterinary medical
students receive instruction on leadership, communications, team
building and ethics in the first semester, and take a practice
management course in their third year. Several business, management
and leadership electives are in the development stages.
"Throughout their clinical rotations, students learn about
interpersonal communications, conflict management, team leadership,
business practices and the responsibilities that they have as
members of the veterinary medical profession," said Gage.
Extracurricular activities including the Professional Development
Seminar Series co-sponsored with the TAMU Student Veterinary
Business Association offer additional opportunities to hear
presentations on leadership and management topics. More than 20
professional student organizations provide a broad selection of
leadership experiences for the students. "All of these experiential
and clinical opportunities are essential to the professional and
leadership development of our students since leadership development
has been shown to be 80% experience," Gage further stated.
The advisory council is also committed to helping the college
develop a career center to include an effective website about
career and leadership opportunities and special on-campus programs
for the entire professional student body. They plan to create a
Web-based program that includes a list of new and expanded summer
jobs, summer internships, international externships, and
corporate/professional and government externships that provide
veterinary medical students with hands-on, real-world leadership
experiences. The center will also focus on expanding the
opportunities for students to pursue graduate and specialty
Although this unprecedented meeting took place at Texas A&M,
the objective is to make an immediate and lasting impact throughout
the veterinary medical profession with support from other
veterinary medical organizations and institutions. The possibility
of holding a national summit on veterinary medical leadership
development is being considered.
Strong and active veterinary leadership programs are also
offered at Washington State and Michigan State but Gage sees a
greater need. "The Texas A&M University center and council
members look forward to working with other veterinary medical
schools to create broad opportunities for all veterinary students
to develop their leadership and communication skills."
In it's second year, Texas A&M's Center for Executive
Leadership in Veterinary Medical Education has facilitated the
development of DVM/PhD and DVM/MBA dual degree programs with almost
20 graduates from these programs thus far. Two milestone projects
for students in the DVM/MBA program were the completion of The
Economic Impact of Veterinary Medicine on the State of Texas report
and the Compliance Study for the Texas A&M University
Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Each group of DVM/MBA
students is required to complete a business consulting project in
some business segment related to veterinary medicine.
The next meeting of the External Advisory Council will be held
on October 28, 2005, at Texas A&M University's College of
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Council Members - Executive Council Veterinary Leadership
- Ronald S. Brakke - President - Brakke
- Justin Skala - President & COO -
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. (Colgate Palmolive, Inc.)
- William Toler - Vice President - Iams
(Proctor and Gamble, Inc.)
- Dr. Kurt R. Venator - Manager,
Influential Marketing Group - Nestle-Purina Petcare, Inc.
- Dr. Robert Jones - President -
Novartis Animal Health US, Inc.
- Scott Bormann - Vice President - Fort
Dodge Animal Health, Inc.
- Joerg Ohle - President & CEO -
Bayer Animal Health, Inc.
- Dr. David McGavin - Vice President of
Biologicals R&D - Pfizer Animal Health R&D
- Dr. Robert Nordgren - Head of
Research/Technology - Merial Animal Health, Inc. (Merck)
- Ms. Paula Stack - Senior Director,
Companion Animal - Schering-Plough Animal Health, Inc.
- Dr. Randy LaFevre - Vice President of
Professional Relations - Banfield, The Pet Hospital
- Dr. Jeff Edwards - Head, Anatomic
Pathology - VeterinaryClinicsAmerica, Antech Diagnostics,
- Dr. Roberta Relford - Vice President/Chief
of Worldwide Pathology & Specialty Consulting Services -
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.
- Jennifer Fiala - Senior Editor - DVM
- Dr. Kenneth N. Gray - Chairman of Med.
& Surg. - UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Dr. Janet Donlin - Asst. Executive Vice
President - American Veterinary Medical Association
- Dr. Lawrence E. Heider - Executive
Director - Association of American Veterinary Medical
- Dr. John W. Albers - Executive
Director - American Animal Hospital Association
- David L. Foley - Executive Director -
American Association of Equine Practitioners
- Dr. M. Gatz Riddell, Jr. - Executive Vice
President - American Association of Bovine Practitioners
- Dr. Roland Lenarduzzi - President -
Texas Veterinary Medical Association
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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