AVMA COE may add dentistry to required curriculum

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Public comment on proposal due July 1

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The AVMA Council on Education (AVMA COE) is seeking public comment on a proposal to require accredited veterinary medical schools to include dentistry training as part of their curriculum.

The council has proposed the following addition (underlined text) within its requirements for veterinary school curricula:

Instruction in both the theory and practice of medicine and surgery applicable to a broad range of species. The instruction must include principles and hands-on experiences in physical and laboratory diagnostic methods and interpretation (including diagnostic imaging, diagnostic pathology, and necropsy), disease prevention, biosecurity, therapeutic intervention (including surgery and dentistry), and patient management and care (including intensive care, emergency medicine and isolation procedures) involving clinical diseases of individual animals and populations. Instruction should emphasize problem solving that results in making and applying medical judgments. 

“Dentistry is an integral part of veterinary medical practice and is a crucial component for the health and welfare of multiple animal species,” the council said in its explanation for the proposed change to educational Standard 9 – Curriculum. “It is essential that students are trained in dentistry.”

The complete text of Standard 9 – Curriculum, including the proposed change, can be viewed in the accreditation section of avma.org.

Comments on the proposed change must be submitted by email to agondaatAVMA [dot] org (subject: Standard%209%20Curriculum) (agonda[at]AVMA[dot]org) no later than July 1, 2020. The email subject line should say: Standard 9 Curriculum. 

Accreditation results

During its March 21-23, 2020, meeting, the AVMA Council on Education made accreditation decisions on four veterinary medical colleges based on evaluation reports from a comprehensive site visit to each school:

  • Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
Accredited with minor deficiency:
  • Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Université de Montréal Faculté de medicine vétérinaire 

The educational accreditation section of the AVMA website has additional details and notice of all COE accreditation actions.

The next AVMA COE meeting will take place August 30 - September 1, 2020. 


Support for Dentistry Proposal

I am very supportive of including this as it is a core part of clinic practice.

Support for dentistry training

I am very pleased to see the inclusion of ‘all species’ rather than just small animals. This is a huge animal welfare issue and a big step forward in the progression of veterinary medicine

Dr. Elizabeth Clyde
June 15, 2020 Permalink


This should be included!! I graduated in 1991 with nothing!! Learned to split rooted teeth with wire cutters and pliers!!! Sounds too Dr Pol to me!! Don't worry two vet accredited dentist were new friends and now do so much advanced dental procedures!!

Stuart G Denman DVM
June 17, 2020 Permalink

Require accredited Veterinarn schools to include dentistry train

Require accredited Veterinary medical schools to increase large animal medicine training as part of their curriculum. My veterinary license in 1966 indicates that I can preform veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry.

Support for core dentistry curriculum

I am supportive of the COE requiring training in veterinary dentistry as a core curriculuar component for accreditation of colleges of veterinary medicine moving forward.


It must be included bcz the course is essential for veterinarian

Craig A. Stonesifer D.V.M.
June 18, 2020 Permalink

Standard 9 Curriculum

Because the State of Delaware’s Division of Professional Regulation section 3300 Board of Veterinary Medicine specifically prohibits support personal and licensed technicians from performing among other things “operative dentistry and oral surgery” and the veterinarian is guilty of “Unprofessional conduct if allowing support personal and or licensed technicians to perform acts prohibited”; therefore, it is prudent that all veterinarians have at least an elementary knowledge and training in routine, basic dentistry. Therefore it is obligatory that this knowledge be provided within the veterinary education curriculum.

Support for inclusion of Dentistry in Curriculum

I give my support! This can only lead to better proper diagnosis & treatmentof oral pathologies, reduced stress to practising veterinarians and better patient outcomes.

Support dental training

Dental exams postmortem have taught us a lot. After the matter.
Training assists with many preventions on infections, overall health and welfare issues. Sedation and intubation in dentistry with different species is different. Equine dentists who do not have a d.v.m. have been pressed out of practicing in states.... with room for improvement on this specialty and there's the non sedation dentists that owners will hire.
Curriculum should include it.

Support Dentistry inclusion

I support including dentistry to the official curriculum as it is an important aspect of clinical practice. Students want the education and sometimes the only options for elective learning are very limited in size or time offered.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA
June 18, 2020 Permalink

Support Veterinary Dentistry

As one of the most important subjects in private practice, veterinary dentistry, pathology and physiology of disease needs to be incorporated into the veterinary program. I fully support the program and if there's anything I can do to help please feel free to reach out. --Adam Christman, Treasurer, NJVMA

Please consider adding veterinary dentistry to our curriculum!!!

Please consider adding dentistry to our curriculum in veterinary school!!! We get the bare minimum & only get more exposure if we join the dental club. That’s even if your vet school has a dental club. It would be a wonderful addition to our curriculum; every soon to be vet would benefit from this added knowledge and learning!!!

Dentistry Training

I support the inclusion of dentistry into the veterinary curriculum. We have been behind the curve for far too long.

Support Dental Training

As a general pet animal practitioner, dental cleanings and extractions are the most common anesthetic procedure we perform. After 38 years of practice, I am still baffled that my alma mater teaches almost nothing about basic dental procedures. It seems clear that this is because it is not necessary for accreditation. This needs to be rectified.
As someone who served 9 years on my state's Licensing Board, complaints pertaining to dental procedures were common. We need to do a better job training our veterinary students so that they are "practice ready."

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