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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                  Winter/Spring 2010

NAMEVMC to Lead in Designing How Veterinary Medicine will Meet Changing Needs

by Gerhardt G. Schurig, DVM, Ph.D.

 

In 2009, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), devised and approved a plan guiding them for the next five years. One of the six strategic goals of this plan is for the AAVMC to provide leadership in designing how veterinary medicine will rise to meet the changing and growing needs of society. To help achieve this goal, the association recently formed the North American Veterinary Medical Educational Consortium (NAVMEC).

In 2009, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), devised and approved a plan guiding them for the next five

years. One of the six strategic goals of this plan is for the AAVMC to provide leadership in designing how veterinary medicine will rise to meet the changing and growing needs of society. To help achieve this goal, the association recently formed the North American Veterinary Medical Educational Consortium (NAVMEC).

Led by a board of directors, the consortium is composed of representatives from veterinary academia, national and state veterinary associations, specialty groups, industry, government agencies, licensure boards, and others. Our college is being represented by former Dean Peter Eyre. In the coming year, he and the other members will build a plan for the future of veterinary medical education.

As you all know, veterinary medicine and education face many challenges and opportunities in a changing societal environment: new and emerging zoonotic diseases threaten public health and pose a bioterrorism risk; the expectation of human-quality care for companion animals is growing; maintaining the safety of the nation’s food supply persists; and growing debt for veterinary students continues to be a major concern for many.

These and others issues will be among those addressed as the consortium meets periodically over the next year. At the conclusion of their discussions, they will issue a final report to the AAVMC to be widely shared with others in the veterinary community and other principal stakeholder groups.

There are four points AAVMC wishes everyone to know and understand about the consortium, and I share them with you now:

  • “NAVMEC is about building consensus on what will make an outstanding education that produces excellent future veterinarians to meet societal needs. NAVMEC is not about building consensus on issues within veterinary medicine.”

  • “Our ability to successfully educate the next generation of veterinarians depends on our openness to listen to the breadth of views reflected in society and our profession. Education should never be about closing our minds to views that differ from our own.

  • “[AAVMC] sought as many points of view to participate in discussions as reasonably possible and [they] invited everyone to contribute to funding in the initiative, if they were able, so that [their] product would be owned by stakeholders across the profession.”

  • “Participation in discussions and sharing of views is just that, and is not equivalent to agreement or adoption of any particular view in the final report. Well respected, established leaders in AAVMC, AVMA, and licensure groups will make the final decisions concerning [NAVMEC product content and recommendations on policies and procedures].”

I encourage you to visit http://www.aavmc.org/navmec.htm to learn more about the consortium and the important work they are doing, and I offer my thanks to Dr. Eyre for his participation on our behalf.

I look forward to reading the final report, and I am confident it will offer us all insight on how to best prepare ourselves and our students for the ever-evolving future of veterinary medicine.

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Important Links from this article

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges


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