Senate considers specialty pay for board-certified health scientists

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On April 30, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu introduced S. 953, legislation that would extend specialty pay to board-certified federal employees in positions related to dentistry, human medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, psychology, or optometry.

The federal government's need for highly trained health science professionals has increased considerably over the past several years. The role of many federal health scientists places them on the front lines of current homeland security efforts. Incentives are needed for government agencies to be able to recruit and retain the best and brightest scientists for government service.

One measure that would encourage excellence among health science professionals, including veterinarians, employed by the government would be specialty pay for board-certified federal employees in health science positions. Such a policy would encourage health science professionals who have received advanced training to pursue government jobs and would provide an incentive for professionals already serving in government to seek board certification.

The AVMA hopes to find a member of the House of Representatives to introduce similar legislation. Contact your senators and ask them to join Sen. Landrieu in sponsoring this legislation. Also, help the AVMA by encouraging Congress to pass this legislation.

For more information, contact the AVMA Governmental Relations Division at (800) 321-1473, Ext. 3210, to speak with Dr. Michael Chaddock (mchaddockatavma [dot] org).