President’s Message, April 2020

Tracey Jensen, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline Practice), President

We are just at a month into the ‘new normal’ for many of us. Or at least coming to grips with the fact that we will be living a new normal and this is our reality. I hope this letter finds you and your families well. While a global pandemic is not exactly what any of us had in mind this spring, it has had some silver linings. Families spending more time together (some families forced to tarnish that silver), less global emissions and improved air quality, embracing tele-everything, explosion of human ingenuity and innovation, and a nationwide run on pajama bottoms. Also an enormous appreciation for the role our school system plays in the sanity of life. I have a feeling the discussion of teacher wages is going to be much different in the years to come as feral children across this country head back to the civilization of the classroom (fingers crossed) by fall.

Innovation and ingenuity has been running strong in our organization as well. ABVP has two critical functions: credential applicants and provide successfully credentialed applicants a certifying exam. A third function, argued by some as critical, is the Symposium. As you can imagine, each of these three have been impacted by COVID19. Here I will share with you updates on the status of each.

Credentials, as I mentioned last month, is largely in electronic format and the least affected by the pandemic in terms of the logistics on our end. All systems are a go with credential packets in the hands of the reviewers. Credentials results are anticipated to be released as they historically have, well in advance of the June 1st requirement. A big thank you goes to Dr. Pittenger, Chair of the Credentials Committee, and his Vice Chairs for carrying on their volunteer obligations for ABVP when they, too, have had their worlds rocked by COVID19.

A big question facing our organization is what to do with the exam. It is scheduled to be administered, in person, the Wednesday before the start of the Symposium in October. The Council of Regents has agreed there is significant uncertainty surrounding the ability to travel and hold larger gatherings as early as this fall. There are approximately 100 examinees in any given year. Dr. Mike Dutton, Exam Chair, has spent a great deal of time investigating the most economical and long lived approach to being able to offer our exam remotely for quite some time. It was hoped to begin to offer remote testing in 2022. The pandemic has not only pushed, but shoved, that time line to 2020. Dr. Dutton has done a tremendous job of researching the various formats, costs, proctoring, and complexity of transferring exam items from our current system to one which offers the option for remote testing. I am pleased to announce he is making significant progress. While we have not yet confirmed the remote testing as an option for the 2020 candidates, I hope to be able to provide you with the decision and plan in the next newsletter. We understand the amount of time and effort that goes into preparing for the exam and are working hard to let our candidates know their options just as soon as we are able.

On a much larger scale, with even more moving pieces and parts, is our Symposium. We are scheduled for October 15-18 in Chicago. Dr. Carondelet Nollner, CE Chair, is working hard with our management team to evaluate options. The event contract with our venue is locked in. Therefore, you will likely see us go forward with planning and marketing. Please know we are doing so with everyone’s safety top of mind. It is possible Chicago will deem it is impossible to hold an event the size of our Symposium as October gets closer. We recognize that is a possibility and there is much uncertainty. We are working hard to devise multiple contingency plans to keep everyone safe and make ABVP proud. We will continue to update you as the next few months unfold.

Please stay well, stay safe and by all means, reach out to us if there is anything ABVP can do to help support you.