Posted Oct. 1, 2014
VetAgro Sup at the University of Lyon is the newest foreign veterinary school—and the first one in France—to be granted full accreditation status by the AVMA Council on Education, for seven years.
The veterinary school received the notification after the AVMA COE’s May 14 conference call. The decision is retroactive to the date of the council’s comprehensive site visit, that is, students graduating after Sept. 26, 2013, are considered graduates of a COE-accredited institution.
The new accreditation status means Lyon graduates will now be able to apply for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in the United States or Canada without having to first successfully complete a foreign graduate examination; however, the school’s annual class size is 125, and it typically has few, if any U.S. citizens enrolled each year. Lyon, similar to other French veterinary schools, has a five-year curriculum, and students start their clinical education in the third year.
VetAgro Sup has also joined the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges as a voting member, now that it is COE-accredited. The COE grants accreditation status to foreign schools and colleges of veterinary medicine on the basis of compliance with 11 standards of accreditation.
The school was founded by Claude Bourgelat in Lyon in 1761, making it the world’s first veterinary school. The veterinary profession celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2011.
Initially, the COE’s consultative site visit was conducted Oct. 3-8, 2005; the COE received Lyon’s self-study in late August 2005.
Forty-seven veterinary schools are currently COE-accredited—28 in the United States, five in Canada, and 14 in other foreign countries. The council conducts a maximum of 12 site visits annually, although it typically conducts only seven per year, including one or two site visits to foreign veterinary schools. Site visits are required once every seven years for schools to maintain accreditation.
The French veterinary education system has 2,560 students in four national veterinary schools: the National Veterinary School of Alfort, the National Veterinary School of Toulouse, the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine in Oniris, and VetAgro Sup.