Resolution 5, which called on the AVMA to encourage Congress to create a student debt-forgiveness program for veterinarians who complete a postdoctoral degree in public health or epidemiology, was also disapproved. Five constituent associations submitted the resolution. The Executive Board, House Advisory Committee, and the Reference Committee on Legislation and Governmental Matters (Reference Committee 5) also recommended disapproval.
Overall, delegates viewed Resolution 5 as exclusionary in focusing only on those two specialty areas, whereas students pursuing other disciplines, including microbiology and pathology, face the same debt repayment hurdle. Instead, several delegates, including Drs. James Harris of the American Association of Avian Veterinarians and Michael Garvey of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, said a better approach is for the profession to encourage future employers of these graduates to pay a realistic wage.
The Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia veterinary medical associations and the National Association of Federal Veterinarians submitted Resolution 5.