Study has potential to enhance visibility, importance of veterinary medicine
The AVMA is co-funding a National Academies study evaluating the current status and future needs for veterinary medical research in the United States.
The AVMA Council on Research recommended that the AVMA support the study conducted by the National Academies Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources with $100,000 from reserves, which the Executive Board approved.
"I think this study has the potential to be as important to this profession as the (National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues) has become," observed Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, District II representative.
The AVMA/Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Task Force on Veterinary Research developed the initial outline for the proposed study. In July of 2001, the Executive Board approved moving ahead with the proposal.
Since then, the task force, Council on Research, and AVMA staff worked closely with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources within the National Research Council at the National Academies to develop and refine the final study proposal titled, "National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science."
In January 2002, the National Academies approved moving forward with the final proposal, and BANR is now seeking sponsors so that the study can begin. Funding from five primary stakeholders is initially being sought from the AVMA, AAVMC, National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Agriculture.
The proposed budget is $500,000 for April 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004, with each of the primary sponsors being asked to initially contribute $100,000.
The National Academies moved ahead with the study proposal because, although veterinary research has the potential to impact such fields as animal health, human medicine, and bioterrorism, support for animal-related research has been fractionated among agencies, and with many gaps.
The Council on Research and Task Force on Veterinary Research believe that the "National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science" study will enhance the visibility and importance of veterinary research in the United States.
In addition, because veterinary research transcends species boundaries through the concept of "one medicine" and the commonality of health and disease among animals and humans, the study will promote the AVMA's leadership role in support of veterinary research.
Similar to how AVMA-sponsored initiatives through the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues provide direction for the future of private veterinary practice, the National Academies study will provide a blueprint for veterinary research.
The AVMA Council on Veterinary Service and Legislative Advisory Committee supported the recommendation to fund the National Academies study.
The board approved a related recommendation to send an AVMA officer and the chair of the Council on Research to a meeting of the primary stakeholders with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources in Washington, D.C.