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Sunday
Sep202015

CHAPTER HIGHLIGHT: Texas A&M

            As many of you are aware, mental health and awareness is a growing concern in veterinary medicine. Since veterinary students are exposed to large amounts of stress and anxiety, the Texas A&M SCAVMA decided to host a “Find the Joy” week for the 7 days leading up to our final exams in the Spring.

            We wanted to get students out of the vet school, so we used a large portion of our All for Students funding to send our students to events throughout College Station. Some of the activities we chose were an Aggie baseball game, a local theater production of Peter Pan, a night at a ceramic painting studio, hiking in a local park, and we capped off the week by renting out a new yoga studio for a morning of relaxation classes and tea.

  Due to the cost of these events we utilized a randomized sign up process and limited participation to a certain number of students per event. We were able to put every student in either their first or second choice event and we had nothing but good feedback from everyone who participated. I think that it is important for vet students to go out and “find the joy” right before finals and that this was a huge success in doing so. I would like to encourage all SCAVMAs to consider putting on some kind of wellness event and if you would like any other information regarding our Find the Joy week feel free to contact me at crdolan@cvm.tamu.edu.

 

Christopher Dolan

Texas A&M SCAVMA President

Sunday
Sep202015

Discussions focused around loans, wellness, and diversity

AVMA Convention - July 12-13th, 2015

Your SAVMA Delegates were hard at work this summer at the AVMA Convention in Boston. 

SAVMA President & President-Elect, Jessica Carrie and Matt Holland, began their week in the AVMA House of Delegates as your representatives of the student voice. Discussion in the AVMA House focused around accreditation and four proposals were brought to the floor to modify the Council on Education. Matt and Jess addressed the House sharing their belief that while accreditation is an important topic, there are issues of greater importance to the profession such as wellness and student debt.  Their address moved the House to vote down the proposals and shifted attention to more important issues.

In the Student House of Delegates, discussion focused on those very topics.  The delegates received an informative presentation from Dr. Tony Bartels from the VIN Foundation on navigating student loan repayment.  By knowing your own debt and your personal repayment options, student loans become much more manageable.  Delegates were instructed to bring that message back to their schools and teach students about their options.  You can learn more about Dr. Bartel’s presentation here: http://www.vinfoundation.org/default.aspx?pid=8194&id=6872914

SAVMA’s Mental Health & Wellness Taskforce also gave an update on their progress sharing input from the AAVMC, WVLDI, VOICE, IVSA, and AVMA Future Leaders.  The Taskforce has developed a survey that will be sent out to all SAVMA and IVSA members asking about mental health and general wellness while in veterinary school.  It’s been known for quite some time that veterinary professionals are susceptible to these issues.  This survey will be a unique opportunity to understand how these issues affect us while we’re still in school.  The Taskforce is also working on a media campaign to reduce the stigma around mental health.

Kyle Hohu, Senior Delegate from Purdue, also proposed the creation of an Ad-Hoc Executive Board Cultural Outreach Officer position.  Diversity is an important issue to our profession and discussion on the proposal was rigorous.  The House decided to approve the creation of this position which will be evaluated next year at Convention to determine whether the goals of such a position were met or if the position should exist permanently.

Delegates and Presidents worked alongside each other discussing important topics such as SAVMA/SCAVMA collaboration, wellness, and utilizing resources form the AVMA.  They also enjoyed an engaging talk by Dr. Betsy Charles, founder of the Veterinary Leadership Institute, to help everyone become better leaders.

SAVMA and SCAVMA Leaders continue to work to serve you.  So be sure to take advantage of everything offered to you by becoming a member today!

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