June 01, 2001


 Complementary, alternative veterinary medicine guidelines approved

Posted May 15, 2001  
Dr. Harmon A. Rogers
Dr. Harmon A. Rogers

The culmination of 2½ years of intensive labor arrived in April when the Executive Board approved new Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine.

An overview on pages 1729-1730 offers insights into the guidelines, which appear on page 1731.

The chairman of the task force that developed the new guidelines was Dr. Harmon A. Rogers, District XI AVMA Executive Board member. At the April 2001 meeting he urged his fellow board members to approve the revised version.

"We have made an extraordinary effort to open up review internationally to other veterinarians and the public," Dr. Rogers said. "We've received thousands of written communications, which have all been considered."

Dr. Rogers said the guidelines focus on the broad picture of veterinary medicine rather than specific modalities. They do not prohibit complementary or alternative therapies, he said, but they place strong reliance on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, which constitute the practice of veterinary medicine.

The revisionary process began in November 1998, when the board designed the protocol for the Task Force on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. The following spring, the board appointed nine members to the task force.

During the ensuing period, the task force undertook the arduous task of compiling a worthy document, posting it on the AVMA Web site for comment for six weeks, and culling noteworthy points from more than 2,100 letters to incorporate in the document.

The board dismissed the task force and thanked the members for completing their duties.