Working together: Dr. James E. Nave, president, AVMA; Professor A. R. Michell, BVM, PhD, president, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons; Dr. Jenks Britt, vice chairman, AVMA Council on Education; Professor Jacqueline Reid, BVM, PhD, associate dean and professor of anesthesia, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow; Dr. Donald G. Simmons, director, AVMA Education and Research Division; Jane C. Hern, secretary and registrar, RCVS; and Dr. Bruce W. Little, executive vice president, AVMA
The AVMA is working to expand overseas opportunities for US veterinarians. In June, AVMA president, Dr. James E. Nave (then president-elect) and AVMA staff hosted a meeting at the AVMA headquarters office with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to discuss a measure that would allow licensure in Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) to graduates of US veterinary schools.
"It will mean that if we have veterinary graduates who want to go to Britain and practice, they'll have an opportunity they didn't have before," Dr. Nave said.
The AVMA and the RCVS — the licensing body for Britain — are aiming to reach an agreement soon, possibly during the British Veterinary Association annual congress in September. The RCVS and the AVMA will then approve the measure.
Dr. Jenks Britt, vice chairman of the AVMA Council on Education, said, "Acceptance of our graduates gives strong credence to the accreditation/approval process that has been developed by the AVMA and carried out by the Council on Education."
If the measure is agreed upon by both parties, Britain would accept as practitioners those veterinary graduates who have passed the National Board Examination and Clinical Competency Test, or North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Graduates must not have disciplinary actions related to practice on their records.
Dr. Nave said, "The most important thing is that the agreement recognizes the high standards of education that our Council on Education as well as the US Department of Education and the AVMA membership want and demand.
"If a veterinary school is 'approved' in another country and the graduates have the opportunity to come here and take a licensing test just as our graduates do, I think our graduates deserve that same courtesy in other countries. It also is an issue of giving more freedom to our graduates," he said. "In this age when a veterinarian is married and his or her spouse is transferred to a foreign country, it is advantageous that the veterinarian could work in the foreign country."
He added, "If a veterinary school wants to be 'approved' by our Council on Education, and it is willing to provide the same opportunities in its country that we do in the United States and meet the standards, we would all gain. We continuously increase the standard of veterinary medicine worldwide. It has to be a two-way street."