Board approves proposals to unify, enhance foreign graduate program

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As recommended by the AVMA Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates, the Executive Board gave AVMA approval for two two-day meetings between the ECFVG and the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence Board to discuss the desirability and feasibility of developing a single program to determine foreign graduates' educational equivalency to graduates of AVMA-accredited veterinary schools/colleges.

Three members of the AVMA's ECFVG and three members of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards' PAVE will meet, if the AAVSB agrees.

The board deliberated at length before arriving at the decision, because a January 2002 meeting between AVMA and AAVSB representatives ended unsuccessfully, with the two organizations resuming work on their respective programs. It is hoped that the meetings between the ECFVG and PAVE boards will be a first step toward reopening communications with the AAVSB about educational equivalency standards.

At the first of the two meetings, the representatives will discuss the philosophy behind each program's standards. The second meeting will more fully explore the possibility of one educational equivalency assessment program. The AVMA believes that a single, high-quality program that appropriately and consistently assesses the educational equivalence of foreign veterinary graduates is in the best interest of the public. A summary of the discussions and any suggestions developed will be forwarded to the AVMA Executive Board and AAVSB Executive Committee for review.

Drs. Donald Draper, Deborah Kochevar, and Wallace Baze were nominated and approved as the ECFVG representatives to participate in the meeting with the PAVE Board.

The board also approved an ECFVG recommendation to convene two panels of experts who will complete an audit of the evaluated clinical year. This is one of two methods by which candidates can complete the fourth and final step of the ECFVG certification program. Standardization and reliability of the clinical year must be ensured. The board approved up to $12,375 for this project. That amount will be combined with $13,000 from the Quality Assurance Program account for the Clinical Proficiency Examination. The audit, to be conducted by the Chauncey Group International, will enhance the evaluated clinical year as well as the CPE, the second of the methods by which candidates can complete the final step of the ECFVG program.

The composition of the ECFVG will also be changed, as proposed by the ECFVG and the ECFVG Evaluation Task Force. Two positions will be added—a veterinary clinical practitioner who is an ECFVG certificate holder, and a senior administrative executive of a state veterinary medical licensing board. The Executive Board representative position will be converted to a nonvoting liaison position. These changes to the membership are expected to enhance the commission's effectiveness and communications with interested stakeholders.

As directed by another recommendation, which the board approved, the Council on Education will explore the feasibility and desirability of the ECFVG exercising more autonomy in decision making concerning policy and procedural matters. The ECFVG Evaluation Task Force submitted this recommendation. The task force believes that because of the correlation between educational standards (the council's domain) and educational equivalency (the commission's domain), the council's expertise would be valuable to the process of exploring this concept.