Share your thoughts: Future of veterinary education accreditation

Published on May 26, 2023
An educational building in the sun

The AVMA Council on Education® (COE) is formulating its strategic plan for the next five years and wants your input.

The council is seeking input on how innovation in education, the profession, and professional accreditation should be considered in the accreditation process and the COE accreditation standards. Specifically, the panel is looking for input on how to best serve students, the public, the profession, and veterinary medical colleges and schools into the future.

The COE is planning a series of live, facilitated feedback sessions to gather input over the coming months. 

If you prefer to submit feedback in writing or are unable to attend any of the live sessions, your input also can be submitted to the council coeatavma [dot] org (via email) through July 31, 2023.

Attend a live feedback session

Facilitated feedback sessions will be held in June and July.

Virtual sessions 

For details on how to join a virtual session, please RSVP by email to coeatavma [dot] org indicating the session you plan to attend. 

  • Student session: Friday, June 9, Noon – 1p.m. Central Time
  • Open session, focused on recent graduates (all welcome): Friday, June 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Central Time
  • Open session: Friday, June 16, Noon – 1 p.m. Central Time
In-person sessions 
  • Open session at AVMA Convention, Denver: Sunday, July 16, 11 a.m. – Noon Mountain Time
  • Open session at the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Convention – Date and time to be determined 

Learn more about the COE and this opportunity to provide input.


Vet technician accreditation

We need to look at new avenues for technician training and therefore accreditation. Our state is starting an apprenticeship program. This keeps and trains our valued assistants in clinic.

Current trends in veterinary academia

It seems as though the COE has strayed a bit in the goal of training students to be veterinarians. In my opinion, the pendulum has swung too far from teaching medicine and surgery to other topics, such as communication and equity and diversity issues. At our institution, students cannot answer basic anatomy questions. At institutions across the country, there is less and less emphasis on surgery topics and skills. The answer seems to be, if it is a surgical issue, send it to a surgeon. Unfortunately, many owners cannot afford this level of care, and many procedures can be performed in general practice if they had the appropriate training. The sole emphasis on surgical training for veterinary students is centered on spays and neuters, and how many a student can perform during clinical years. Also, I think it is time to consider the model used in 95% of other countries, with direct admission to veterinary school with a 6 year curriculum rather than 4 years of nonspecific education, followed by 4 years of veterinary school. Think of how much more targeted a curriculum could be in the first 2 years, eg writing for the medical sciences, physics for medical sciences, chemistry for medical sciences.

Dr Millis, Proposals to…

Dr Millis,
Proposals to shorten the time in school go back nearly 40 years, including specializing for particular sectors of veterinary medicine. But somehow there has never been leadership to face the reality of how the expanding knowledge base of animal health needs to be addressed in modernizing the current obsolete veterinary curriculum purporting to produce a veterinarian competent in all segments of the profession. We know what needs to be done. The PEW Report on the Future of Veterinary Education made it very clear in 1988. Yet only one veterinary school in the world, the University of Guelph in Belgium, has students in their final 1-2 years training only for a particular sector like equine, small animal or ruminant medicine. Our schools and the COE standards are obsolete .

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