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AVMA needs to stop foreign school accreditation

  1. AVMA is a trade organization. This is a 501c6 entity which has a mission statement as stated by Dr Ron Dehaven on the 2011 AVMA tax returns "to promote and protect the veterinary profession."

AVMA's prime responsibility is to its dues paying members.  

  1. AVMA has stated both in the 2011 foreign accreditation taskforce study and in the 2013 workplace study that it cannot and will not interfere with COE accreditation despite the fact that AVMA is by its own admission independent of COE.

The reason for this is cited as potential legal anticompetitive issues. Whether this is actually a concern is debatable.

The Texas VMA proposed resolution 5 to assign a taskforce to study the effects of foreign accreditation on the U.S. profession.

The taskforce decided it could not assess the effects of foreign accreditation on the profession since COE is not allowed to consider effects of accreditation on the profession.

This decision was not made by the taskforce members.In a recent interview with the VIN news service, two members of the taskforce revealed that they were DIRECTED BY AVMA not to discuss the economic effects of foreign accreditation on the US profession.  This kind of intereference with the taskforce not only undermines the credibility of the report it directly affects the ability of the taskforce to fulfil its mission.   

If AVMA is independent of COE why can AVMA not consider the effects of foreign accreditation on U.S. schools?

AVMAs prime mission is to protect and promote the veterinary profession.  It is therefore obligated to serves its due paying membership and explore ALL the possible effects of accreditation, regardless of the constraints placed on COE.  

There are potential negative effects of foreign accreditation that AVMA must acknowledge, research and assess if it is to truly protect and promote the veterinary profession.

The number of students taking the NAVLE test has not significantly changed from 2011 to 2012.  However, the number of students enrolled in foreign schools taking NAVLE has doubled inthe past year suggesting that here has been a shift of education from US to foreign schools.

Since the accreditation of some schools is very recent it is difficult to asses the effect of their achieving accreditation until several years of students have graduated.

Foreign accreditation has made enrollment in a foreign school much more attractive to US students since they no longer have to take PAVE and/or ECFVG.   

As long as AVMA does not use any information from the report to directly influence COE it cant possibly be breaking any laws.  If, however, the AVMA leadership changes the focus of the report and/or prevents the taskforce from independently evaluating the effects of foreign accreditation on US profession then the validity of the whole study must be questioned.

  1. AVMA has no mandate to accredit foreign schools. The DOE considers there is no effect on the U.S. profession of foreign accreditation, although they didn't consider the effect of access to federal loan money by foreign accredited schools or the effects of ease of licensure on the distribution of veterinary students.

Concerns have been raised by NACIQI about the accreditation process and the validity of the COE process.

The biggest concern is the requirement of a high pass rate for NAVLE.  In foreign schools where few students take NAVLE the percentage pass rate is less accurate due to the low number of students taking the test.  

After 2015 non accredited schools will no longer have access to US federal loan money so achieving accreditation before 2015 will have significant financial implications on foreign schools.

There is already a well defined pathway for foreign veterinarians to gain licensure in USA.

None of the stated benefits outlined in the foreign accreditation taskforce require accreditation to be achieved.

AVMA can participate on global efforts to improve the quality of veterinary medicine worldwide and can set any standard it wishes.  None of this requires accreditation.

As long as there is a pathway for foreign veterinarians to enter U.S. workforce then stopping foreign accreditation by AVMA will in no way restrict the movements from country to country.

If however continuing foreign accreditation prevents AVMA from freely advocating for the profession AVMA MUST relinquish foreign accreditation.   

This is not an issue of trying to limit the influx of veterinarians. It is about AVMA being free to advocate for the interests of its membership without any conflict of interest.