It is hard to believe it is already October! With all the events of the past few months, the summer seemed to fly by, and before we knew it, the leaves were starting to change.
It continues to be a busy time for the ACVIM staff, as everything we do has been impacted by the pandemic, just as it has for our members. The certification group and exam committees are working hard on preparing our examinations for digital formatting and delivery with remote proctoring in 2021. While we didn’t plan on such an abrupt transition, COVID has been the catalyst for rapid change! On a bright note, the 2020 ACVIM Forum On Demand has been an enormous success, with registration numbers similar to what we’d expect to see at our live event. Our Forum committee members worked closely with the ACVIM staff to produce a high-quality educational experience in record time.
The examples above highlight how valuable our volunteers are to the success of the organization. We have a huge number of members that contribute time and energy to the ACVIM every year. As we look ahead to 2021, we are focusing efforts on learning what our members need and want from the ACVIM. A survey will be going out to the membership early next year, preceded by qualitative assessments from a select group of members. We believe this work will inform us about the needs of our diverse membership, helping the staff and Board of Regents know how to prioritize the work of the ACVIM.
This year has been one of the most difficult ones most of us have experienced. With a global pandemic changing everything we do, unprecedented natural disasters and political and social division, we are all experiencing fatigue and grief. From my perspective, focusing on ways to make a difference seems like the only path forward. I’m energized by the advocacy of the newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and by the many organizations that are collaborating to address the complex issues our profession faces. I feel fortunate to serve the ACVIM and to work with such a dedicated group of volunteers and staff members.
As we wrap up 2020, let’s continue to be receptive to change, as change is what pushes us to improve as an organization. The lessons we have learned this year and the ways we have grown to meet the challenges we faced will help to ensure that the ACVIM evolves with the times, growing into a modern, cutting-edge and inclusive organization for generations of veterinary professionals to come.
Wishing you good health and happiness for the rest of the year,
Linda Fineman, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Chief Executive Officer, ACVIM