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The profession is changing. You can help decide how

The 2020–2021 AAHA Board of Directors

You can help shape the future of veterinary medicine by joining the AAHA Board of Directors (BOD) or serving on task forces, committees, and advisory groups. And there are benefits—both tangible and developmental—for you.

There are openings, and AAHA has extended the deadline to apply until February 26.

Current AAHA President Pam Nichols, DVM, who owns Animal Care Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah,  served on the AAHA board for four years prior to her election as vice-president and subsequently, president, and she talked to NEWStat about how helping AAHA helped her.

“I am truly no longer afraid of change,” Nichols said. “I am a better boss because of what I learned on AAHA’s BOD. I am a better problem solver than I was before [and] I have learned the beauty of group thinking.”

In addition, Nichols describes the professional connections she’s made while serving on the BOD as “life-changing.”

She says AAHA-board members are at the top of the veterinary profession, and they’re on the board because—like you—they want to make a difference and they want to give back—resulting in an immediate, common bond: “These people make me want to be better every day,” she says. “They make me want to do more.”

That includes helping her practice better medicine. “I’ve learned that I’m better at management than I thought. I learned that I know a lot of really smart colleagues and that [by reaching out to them] I can find out anything I need to!”

When she’s stumped about some aspect of emergency medicine, Nichols says she’ll call an AAHA BOD colleague who’s an expert. And while she might be better at management than she thought, she also has AAHA BOD colleagues whom she can count on for help with a difficult issue.

And when she and her fellow board members relax together after a board meeting, Nichols says they don’t just talk about AAHA: “We also talk about cases, patients, and clients.” She feels that her colleagues’ different perspectives have made her a better veterinarian.

Nichols treasures those moments. She thinks you will, too.

“This is an amazing time of change at AAHA and in our  profession,” she said. She believes her work with AAHA has given her the tools to help effect that change.

And Nichols thinks that’s a pretty big deal: “The changes I’m helping with will have ripples in the veterinary community for years and years.”

Her advice to AAHA members considering a run for the Board is simple: “Do it! You’ll never regret it.”

Photo courtesy of Christine Panek 

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