January Message from the CEO

Jan 17, 2023, 09:25 AM by Shannon Carter

Message from the CEO

Dear ACVIM Diplomates and Candidates, 

It is an honor to introduce myself to you as the next CEO of the ACVIM. I am grateful that my predecessor, Dr. Linda Fineman, will be staying on as a Diplomate Advisor, so  that I can consult her as a Diplomate, member, colleague, and friend on how I can  fulfill my primary goals: to foster a culture of Candidate and member-driven decision  making, and to create positive experiences for our Candidates, members and  volunteers. 

Although some of the challenges of the past few years are the result of pandemic-related factors that were outside of our control, we have identified several opportunities for  improvement. With this in mind, here are some of the changes you can watch for in the  coming year:

  • A renewed focus on Candidates: We will take actions that are designed to dramatically improve the experience Candidates have with the ACVIM, from initial registration through the boarding process. We recognize that perhaps no group has been more significantly impacted by the disruption of the last few years than our most recent candidates. In order to better connect that group, as well as those of you who support them along their journey, we are planning several onboarding sessions, town halls and in-person volunteer meetings, all designed to ensure quality and foster connection. We are also launching a Candidate-focused newsletter in 2023, with content that is specific to the needs of our future members.

  • A new communications strategy: We know that the volume of incoming email has made it difficult to keep up with everything that is going on with the ACVIM. To help with this, we will be consolidating many of our communications into a monthly Diplomate Digest, with the goal of reducing inbox clutter and consolidating information.

  • Refreshed branding: A recent marketing audit that involved a survey of our members illuminated the need to refresh our brand in a way that is more modern, energetic and approachable. You can see this new look reflected in our communications as well as on our website in the first quarter of 2023.

  • A process for enforcing trademark violations: Earning the right to be called a Board-certified specialist warrants active monitoring and protection against those who might, either inadvertently or intentionally, misrepresent themselves. We are finalizing the necessary legal steps to enable us to be more assertive in enforcing the rules against use of the DACVIM credential or the term specialist without the requisite training and certification. We will implement a process to ensure that those terms are protected against misuse and abuse.

  • Increased opportunities for connection: As we emerge from the pandemic-conditions that have characterized the last few years, I am eager to connect with you in person. I want to understand how the ACVIM can be a partner and catalyst for your ongoing success. I am planning to attend several meetings at which many of you will likely be present, and I would love to meet for coffee, lunch or anytime where we can have a conversation. We will complement those in-person conversations with several virtual Town Hall events in 2023. The schedule will be published at the beginning of the year, so you can block the time on your calendars to participate. When it isn’t possible to attend live, we will provide recordings for you to listen to when your schedule allows.

In closing, I want each of you to know that we have been listening and that we are prioritizing activities that address the issues, concerns and needs you have identified. I would like to issue an open invitation for you to contact me when you believe we are either falling short of your expectations, or where you are experiencing progress in these areas. I certainly hope I hear more about the latter, but I truly want to know when we are missing the mark.

The ACVIM staff takes seriously the commitment you have made to be a Board-certified specialist. We want our service to you to reflect our recognition of your achievements, and to acknowledge your elite position in the veterinary profession. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you, and I am eager to continue working with you to improve the lives of animals and people through education, training and certification.


Shannon Carter

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