AVMA co-sponsoring NAS study to promote veterinary involvement

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How can more veterinarians be prepared for careers in laboratory animal medicine, comparative medicine, and comparative pathology? Reportedly, the demand for trained, qualified laboratory animal veterinarians far exceeds the supply.

The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the National Academy of Sciences is about to conduct a formal study to address issues surrounding recruitment of veterinarians into those areas.

The ILAR-NAS study will sere as a respected third-party commentary on this important aspect of the veterinary profession and will, therefore, support AVMA economic goals for the profession.

The total project cost is $150,000. NAS policy requires that 51 percent of the study budget be derived from nonprofit sources. Contributors to date are the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and National Institutes of Health.

After expressing some reservations about contributing the $5,000 recommended by the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee toward the study, board members ultimately decided it was merited. District II board member, Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, said, "This is a giant step in promoting DVM/PhD programs that are lagging in the categories named, not to mention others."

As part of the ILAR-NAS study, a strategy will be developed for recruiting more veterinarians into DVM/PhD and post-DVM degree programs in these specialties. Funding resources for training programs will also be appraised.

The ILAR-NAS study would also serve as a cornerstone to the larger NAS study that the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Research is preparing, to enhance the visibility and importance of veterinary research in the United States.