June 15, 2017

Owing approximately $150,000 in student loan debt may require William Willis to defer his dream of practicing in his native Alaska, which he said needs veterinarians of all disciplines. He is a second-year student at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, and his plight is symptomatic of the high cost of veterinary education in America. Willis was among nearly a hundred veterinary students and veterinarians who lobbied Congress for educational debt relief as part of the AVMA's 9th Annual Legislative Fly-In this past April.

AVMA

As the sole candidate for 2017-18 AVMA president-elect, Dr. de Jong is expected to be elected by the AVMA House of Delegates this July and succeed Dr. Michael Topper as president next year. The small animal practitioner from Weston, Massachusetts, and 1985 graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University recently spoke to JAVMA News about his plans if he becomes AVMA president and the state of veterinary medicine as he sees it.

Issues

Translucent polymer chip models, about the size of a AA battery, could provide drug candidate safety data with greater speed and accuracy than testing in animals and cells does. Federal drug authorities will help develop and test those chips over the next few years, starting with one designed to mimic a human liver.

Practice

Heartworm transmission is expected to increase across the U.S. this year, a result of above-average precipitation and temperatures during 2016, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council. The prediction follows a rise in heartworm cases over the past several years, according to separate survey results from the American Heartworm Society.

Community

The AVMA Council on Education has upheld its decision to deny a letter of reasonable assurance to the University of Arizona’s Marley Foundation Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program. The UA succeeded with seven of the 11 accreditation standards and will continue to work to earn the COE’s designation.