Practice opportunities extend to Australia and New Zealand

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Less than a month after graduates of AVMA-accredited colleges became eligible to practice in Great Britain, the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc announced a similar arrangement for Australia and New Zealand.

The announcement comes on the heels of an agreement between the AVMA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons whereby veterinarians educated at accredited veterinary schools/colleges in the United States and Canada can apply to practice in Britain (see JAVMA, Dec 1, 2000, page 1606).

Both agreements are a result of AVMA president, Dr. James E. Nave's efforts to create more opportunities for US veterinarians.

"We feel this opens up doors for a more global situation for the veterinary community without lowering the standards," he said.

Dr. Nave began discussions with Australian veterinary officials in spring 2000. On Nov 30, the AVMA received notification of the Australian veterinary licensing agency's decision.

In the letter, Dr. Tony Vigano, council chair, stated that the members of the council had recommended to the registering authorities of Australia and New Zealand the acceptance of all graduates from AVMA-accredited schools/colleges (in the United States and Canada) and approved colleges (in foreign countries), effective that day.

The only provision is that graduates must have passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.

Dr. Vigano goes on to explain that some states in Australia and New Zealand will not be able to implement the council's recommendation because of existing legislation. The states will consider the recommendation, however, in making changes to legislation or will implement mechanisms within current legislation to enable processing of practice applications.

None of Australia's five veterinary colleges or the one college in New Zealand is approved by the AVMA, but the council's initiative opens the door for the process to begin. For a foreign college to be considered for approval, AVMA policy requires that graduates of AVMA-accredited schools/colleges be granted licensure the same as graduates of a country's veterinary colleges.

The arrangement between the AVMA and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc, Dr. Nave said, is "a plus for US veterinarians and the world veterinary community."