The SCVMA is the nations largest regional veterinary medical association representing over 900 hospitals and 1,500 members. We consider ourselves to be the source for all items related to veterinary medicine in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.

The History of Association

The Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA) is a professional association (501(c)(6)-non-profit), made up of veterinarians dedicated to the advancement of animal health. Founded in 1905, the SCVMA is made up of more than 1,500 veterinarians (from mostly Los Angeles County and Orange County) who have met all the requirements for membership.

The Mission of Association

The primary purpose of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association shall be the advancement of the science and art of veterinary medicine; the conservation and protection of animal health, including its relationship to public health and in general, the betterment of the veterinary profession.

In connection with this last object, by fostering continuing education programs,this Association may give opportunities to it’s members for the interchange of knowledge and the improvement of their skills.

Key Benefits of Membership


The veterinary profession is a small profession compared to other professions. The SCVMA provides venues and resources for you to network and commiserate about the day to day issues of being a veterinarian.

Continuing Education

Each month there are CALIFORNIA STATUTORILY- approved CE meetings that provide many opportunities for both RVTs and DVMs to earn CE credits.  It is possible to meet your state requirements for CE without ever leaving LA or OC.


Through our legislative advocate, the SCVMA is in touch with local governments in both counties. We actively seek to be at the table for open discussions on issues relating to the profession and small business.


The SCVMA website and the Pulse magazine provide information and resources on what is going on in the SCVMA as well as professional articles on clinical and business based topics.


Pulse is the official magazine of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. The monthly publication reaches more than 3,000 veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians and veterinary office staff in Southern California.


At Communities allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other members.

I am a walker. When traveling, one of my favorite ways to see a new city is to get out and walk the streets. My husband, Cory Day and I will start in the morning and try to see as much as possible. This is a great way to meet interesting characters, see the sights and even eat at out of the way restaurants that might not show up on Open Table. At the end of the day we take great pride in seeing how many steps my Apple watch says we hiked. Pro tip: if you want to learn about a new city use the Atlas Obscura app. Start walking to landmarks. You will learn about the areas history and meet interesting people.

On one such trip about 15 years ago we managed to cover most of the island of Manhattan. We started on the Upper East Side, walked to the tip of Battery Park and made our way back up the elongated island. It began to rain and so we ducked into a small boutique where the salesperson began to tell us about his neighborhood and his community. When you think about NYC “community” may not be the first word that comes to mind but this fellow really believed in his community.

I thought a lot about community during the shutdown. It seems that people’s choices for going out was to either go to the supermarket or go see the veterinarian. Some days it felt like everyone chose the vet’s office. In a strange twist of fate the pandemic had thrust the vet clinic into the center of the community. Faced with the decision to do nothing or embrace it, I chose the latter and decided to do what I could to be a participant in the community. Our parking lot turned into a nice place to hangout while waiting for your pet to be examined. Outdoor speakers played jazz while water, sodas and even ice cream was made available to our clients. We placed a board on the building that fronts the sidewalk where we posted information regarding animal health but sometimes quotes, fun facts and celebrating local shelter adoptions.  We decorated for every holiday including Valentine’s Day, Easter and Fourth of July, all of which received full recognition in the parking lot. Clients expressed their appreciation.  I believe the clients could feel that we cared for them and their pets during this trying time.

These memories really made me think about the SCVMA and our community. The last 2 years have been trying and exhausting for many of us and it is our community that has helped us get through this time. It may have been through Zoom or some other platform but at least we were there for each other. As we start to have in person meeting, this sense of community becomes even more important. As we begin 2022 with many uncertainties still ahead, participating in our local chapters should be a priority. Encourage your associates and veterinary support staff to join the SCVMA. If you chose to attend an in person meeting or event say hello to someone you don’t know and make a new friend. Remember this is OUR community and we need to embrace it.

As this years SCVMA president, I plan to make every effort to attend chapter meetings, continuing educations events, our charitable endeavors  and to meet as many of our members as well as encourage new membership. I hope to visit UC Davis and Western University veterinary schools and even my old Pre-vet Club at Cal Poly Pomona to support our potential new members. I hope all of you, members and non-members alike, will be a part of our group because you are an essential component to our associations success.  I look forward to meet you!

Karla S. Nichols, DVM
SCVMA President

Membership Options

  • DVM

  • $250 / yr.
    • For California licensed veterinarians practicing OR living in Los Angeles County or Orange County. Dues vary based year of graduation. For university faculty,  equine veterinarians or veterinarians working for public or non-for-profit entities, please email

  • Non-Resident DVMs

  • $175/ yr.
    • For veterinarians who reside AND practice anywhere outside of Los Angeles County or Orange County

  • DVM Student

  • FREE
    • FREE while enrolled in a veterinary college

  • Friend

  • $175/ yr.
    • For individuals working for or owning a business that provides services or products or supports the veterinary profession.

  • Para-Professional

  • $45/ yr.
    • For any veterinary hospital employee that is NOT a licensed veterinarian

  • RVT Student

  • FREE
    • FREE while enrolled in a program leading to eligibility to receive an RVT license

  • Veterinary Assistant Student

  • FREE
    • FREE while enrolled in a program that teaches veterinary assistant skills.