AS part of its renewed focus on economic issues affecting the veterinary profession, the American Veterinary Medical Assn. (AVMA) announced the hiring of Dr. Michael R. Dicks as director in the association's newly created Veterinary Economics Division.
The division will participate in the formulation and execution of the association's policies, objectives and programs relating to the economic issues AVMA members face today, the announcement said.
The association explained that these efforts will include: conducting benchmarking surveys and studies on veterinary economic statistics, conducting economic analyses on policies and issues, developing and managing programs and projects consistent with AVMA's economic strategic goals, developing business engagements and partnerships and functioning as a liaison with AVMA staff, volunteer leadership and stakeholder groups to establish the economic goals of AVMA in order to best ensure the future of the veterinary profession for association members.
AVMA said it decided to create the Veterinary Economics Division in 2011 at the same meeting during which it established the Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee (VESC) to advise AVMA leaders on the future of the profession.
Dicks and his staff will provide support services for VESC and other economic entities and working groups and the leadership needed so AVMA can best deal with the economic issues facing veterinarians. AVMA has also funded new research that will provide information about the economics of the veterinary profession.
"As an economist with more than 25 years of applied research and policy analysis experience, I'm excited about this opportunity to help AVMA better understand the changing veterinary profession," Dicks said. "Along with the work of the new Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee, we'll be working to ensure that veterinary medicine remains a great career option for current professionals and those entering the profession in the future, and understanding the workforce and profitability will be critical to achieving that goal."
Prior to coming to AVMA, Dicks was the Lou & Wes Watkins chair for international trade and development at Oklahoma State University's School of International Studies and a professor in the department of agriculture and natural resources economics.
He also has experience in government units, research centers and international projects. Before coming to AVMA, he was lead scientist in the Natural Resource Policy program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service and section leader with the agency's Aquaculture & Alternative Products Section.