Honor of a Lifetime

As the AAEP enters its 53rd year of protecting the health and welfare of the horse, I am extremely honored to serve as the association's president.

The AAEP's long-range goals and mission have been clearly defined by its board of directors and leaders from previous years, so in 2007 I will work hard to keep the ship headed on its course.

This year the AAEP will continue to work to make the equine profession better for all horses, horse enthusiasts, and horse doctors. We, as an organization and a profession, must maintain the high ethical standards we have set for ourselves.

While some within the industry might not always agree with the AAEP's positions, I have watched closely the inner workings of the AAEP for years, and never have I seen anything done for personal gain. It has always been done with the horse as the primary focus.

Animal welfare is a huge focal point of my life, as it is for the AAEP. Animal welfare is one of the AAEP's guiding principles, and today it is of utmost importance to the equine industry.

If we evaluate all situations based on what is best for the health and welfare of the horse, then our decisions in this regard will be correct.

Regarding the association's focus on advancing the profession, the AAEP's strategic plan will be our guide in 2007. Veterinary medicine is changing quickly, and remaining a relevant organization in the lives of our members is one of our most important objectives.

The face of the AAEP membership and our members' lifestyles and career needs are vastly different than they were 20 years ago. We know that debt and lower starting salaries are concerns for new graduates. More women practice equine medicine than ever before, and more practitioners--both men and women--wish to balance family and career.

In the past year, the AAEP has formed a Membership Development Committee as well as a task force to tackle the lifestyle issues that are so important to our members.

We are committed to helping our members be happier, better practitioners, and I know we can accomplish this.

Our second action item is continuing education. The AAEP must continue to develop a successful and diverse mix of educational offerings, while providing members with solutions that result in improved satisfaction with their practices.

We are the world's premier provider of equine continuing education, and we want to offer even more. We are looking at the addition of new educational offerings as well as how to continually improve our flagship meeting, the annual convention.

And finally, our third action item is public advocacy. Our goal is to strengthen the AAEP's influence in public policy decision-making. We plan to take a more active role in equine health issues at the federal level, as well as the state level, and we are enlisting the support of our members to achieve this greater influence. Advocacy will be an important focus for me now, as it has been in the past, and will continue to be in the future.

I love this profession and the equine industry. The people you meet are wonderful; the patients are great and beautiful. An added benefit is the environment in which we work, which is good--there's probably none better. And the veterinarians of the AAEP do have a commitment to excellence.

I will be moving at a fast pace this coming year, which is not new. There might be some old dust on my shoulders, but no new dust will settle. We will be taking long strides. The path and traditions have been laid well by all those before me. It is an honor for me to hold the association's reins in 2007.

About the Author

Doug Corey

Doug Corey, DVM, of Pendleton, Oregon, was the 53rd president of the American Association of Equine Practioners. He practices at Associated Veterinary Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash.

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