Model practice act to undergo further development

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After several hours of debate July 16 in Boston at their annual Delegate Assembly, delegates of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards adopted a motion brought by the Kansas delegation from their state board. It states: "The Kansas delegation moves that the AAVSB continue to dedicate its resources to the ongoing development of an AAVSB 'Model Practice Act Resource Tool' for its member boards. Further, while the current revision of the model represents good progress toward that accomplishment, we move that the current revision shall not be considered a finished product. Instead, further development shall occur, during which ongoing, broad based input shall be utilized from outside organizations, including the AVMA, as well as representation from the public sector. Periodic progress reports shall be made to members."

AAVSB Model Practice Act Task Force
The AAVSB Model Practice Act Task Force presents its draft document at the AAVSB Delegate Assembly. Task Force members are Drs. Lila Miller, New York, chair; Georgie Ludwig, Lombard, Ill.; Tom Whitley, Tallahassee, Fla.; and Joe Gordon, Raleigh, N.C.

The assembly also adopted a motion from the Delaware delegate, Dr. John Goose, to change the cover page of the document three ways—to rename it "A Veterinary Medical Practice Act Model"; to designate it "a resource document endorsed by the majority membership as a living document subject to modification as new challenges face the regulatory boards"; and to state it was "accepted" by the AAVSB executive committee rather than "adopted."

AAVSB delegates began discussion on the document by hearing a report from Dr. Lila Miller, chair of the Model Practice Act Task Force. She and the other task force members guided delegates through the document, explaining the provisions that had elicited the most comments or controversy.

The AVMA is strongly in favor of a single model practice act. The current AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act was approved by the House of Delegates in 1997.

Dr. Miller said that anyone who prefers to use the AVMA model could do so. When Linda Merrill, chair of the Veterinary Technician Testing Committee, commented that the document "pretty much fails to address technicians," task force member Dr. Joe Gordon said, "That's an example of the value of having multiple documents—AVMA's [model practice act] does address technicians."

Still, AAVSB delegates expressed some sentiment that there be a single practice act.

As to uncertainty over whether delegates would vote on the AAVSB draft model practice act, Dr. Miller said in her presentation, "A [delegate] vote is neither desired nor necessary. [The model practice act] was prepared as a service and resource for members of AAVSB at your request."

Yet, as demonstrated by a show of hands requested by one participant, many delegates had come with the understanding they would vote on the document, and many had instructions from their boards on which way.

AAVSB president, Dr. James R. Corley acknowledged that fact, and several motions were entertained.

A motion from Michigan delegate Dr. Willie Reed to not adopt the AAVSB model practice act as proposed, failed. Later, the Kansas motion was adopted.

Dr. Corley told the delegate assembly the effect of the motion will be that the AAVSB will continue to work on the draft model practice act and seek input from the AVMA. He said the AAVSB would be in "an improved communication mode."

For delegates who said they underwent a change of opinion in Boston after learning more about the AAVSB draft model practice act, the action will buy them time to return to their state board for authorization to change any future vote on the document.

AVMA House of Delegates registers concern about PAVE; debate rolls on at AAVSB delegate assembly