AVMA Formed 150 Years Ago Today

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June 9, 2013 -- One hundred and fifty years ago today, 40 veterinary delegates from seven states met in New York. The result of that meeting was the formation of what would eventually become the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the oversight organization for all veterinarians in the United States. The initial delegates were from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio and Delaware, according to the AVMA.

"Elected officers included the French-trained Dr. Alexandre Liautard, who headed the American Veterinary College in New York and was a dominant voice in the profession during this period," noted information from the AVMA. "Under the direction of Liautard, New York became the unofficial headquarters of the USVMA (US Veterinary Medical Association, the precursor to the AVMA) and the American Veterinary Review was founded to be the voice of the profession. The USVMA was renamed the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 1898."

Of note from the history of AVMA and the U.S. veterinary profession:

  • In 1900, Liautard returned to France and the American Veterinary Review changed its name to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).
  • By 1913, membership requirements were revised so that being a graduate of a three-year, accredited veterinary school became mandatory (prior to this, self-proclaimed practitioners could be members of the association).
  • Four women graduated from U.S. Veterinary schools in 1915 and began practicing.
  • Today the American Veterinary Medical Association has more than 82,500 members.