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Collaborative Leadership: TVMA & the CVM

Posted February 27, 2015

The relationship between the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) is treasured and mutually beneficial. As a member of the TVMA as well as the dean of the CVM, I have been privileged to see the collaboration from both sides.

The value of what the TVMA provides our students in the way of support and engagement is immeasurable. I cannot thank them enough for their numerous scholarships and other financial assistance to our students, as well as their ongoing support of programs such as Open House, the Professional Programs Office, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Government Affairs Intern at the AVMA office in Washington, D.C.

The TVMA also donated numerous items such as stethoscopes (for first-year students), scrubs and a copy of Veterinary Drug Formulary (for second-year students), and surgical scissors (for third-year students) throughout our many years working together. The TVMA also sponsors a Veterinary Ethics Program dinner for first-year veterinary students and participating veterinarians in both the fall and spring semesters. Third-year veterinary students have the opportunity to attend a “clinic orientation” meeting with TVMA officers in attendance. The organizations also have previously sponsored practice management seminars, job fairs, and college-to-work transition meetings.

Their governing bodies are open to student members. Each TVMA committee is open to students. Elected by class, a third-year veterinary student can serve as a voting member of the TVMA Board of Directors. They also name a student to serve on the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) Board of Trustees.

We are also privileged to have the TVMA actively involved in the college in other ways. A TVMA officer serves as a liaison to the college and meets with Drs. Kenita Rogers and Dan Posey three times per year. This relationship also includes mentoring for each veterinary class and a student section on their website.

TVMA’s Texas Veterinarian magazine invites a student to write a column in each issue. TVMA support of student attendance at its annual conference by offering free early registration for them is appreciated.

The TVMF sponsors two student summer research projects, in which each student presents his or her project to the Board of Directors. They also provide two faculty awards presented at the Honors Convocation. The TVMA president attends and presents awards to honored veterinary residents.

In short, we are forever grateful to the TVMA and TVMF for being such a collaborative partner in our students’ experiences, from their admission interview to their graduation ceremony, where the TVMA president administers the Veterinary Oath and sponsors breakfast for the graduates with attending TVMA officers.

Overall, the TVMA commits close to $32,000 toward student events and activities, and the TVMF commits approximately $24,500. As Albert Schweitzer said, “We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” We are thankful for the TVMA.

As a Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) member and volunteer leader, I have firsthand experience with all of the opportunities TVMA members gain from engagement with the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) faculty, staff, and students. As an executive board member, I feel so privileged to have been able to meet and mentor the CVM Class of 2014. I have also enjoyed the many opportunities to be a part of numerous special events at the CVM such as student orientation, white coat ceremony, ethics sessions, and graduation.

As a busy practitioner and practice owner, it is easy to see the benefits to our practice and local veterinary community. Our involvement with TVMA has given us an advantage to recruit and retain some of the brightest veterinary students to work as externs and associates in our practices. TVMA members repeatedly claim that being involved at the CVM reenergizes them as they return to their practice, industry, or regulatory work. Whether it is meeting students on committees or reconnecting with faculty and staff at TVMA social events, TVMA members are always grateful for the chance to be with the students, faculty, and amazing CVM staff.

I also see benefits to our entire membership when the CVM collaborates with our association. Besides the benefits to individual TVMA volunteers, our entire association benefits from collaboration with the college. The CVM graciously gives TVMA the opportunity to give input on curriculum changes and student selection, giving our members the ability to point out where the college is doing a good job and where it could improve as it molds graduates to become the future of our profession. The CVM also recruits TVMA members to participate in the Multiple Mini Interviews used as part of the student selection process. TVMA members then have direct influence on the caliber of veterinary students that the college admits.

So many of the decisions the college makes impact the veterinary profession in Texas. The CVM is thoughtful to consider input from TVMA leaders and members before making important decisions that could affect us all. It also benefits our members when the CVM simply shares information with TVMA through regular meetings with TVMA leadership and formal reports at our biannual meetings. We are grateful as an association to have such a wonderful working relationship with the CVM.


Contact Information: Megan Palsa,, Office: 979-862-421, Cell: 979-421-3121

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