Funding for Washington extern program restored

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The AVMA will fund up to $10,000 annually for a maximum of 10 veterinary students to participate in the AVMA Governmental Relations Division veterinary externship program at a stipend of a $1,000 per year.

Veterinary student externs gain knowledge and practical experience in governmental relations, as well as the ways that Congress and federal regulatory agencies affect veterinary medicine.

In addition to furthering the AVMA legislative and regulatory agendas, externs share their experiences in Washington, D.C., with colleagues and classmates, stimulating interest and understanding of the importance of the AVMA to the veterinary profession.

AVMA funding for the program had been available in previous years. In 1991, the board approved $10,000 per year for $1,000 stipends for GRD interns and an additional $8,000 for precepteeships at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in laboratory animal medicine.

The board transferred responsibility for the programs to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, to be funded initially from a five-year, $500,000 annual grant from the AVMA. The grant ended in 2000, and AVMF support for this and other programs has dwindled.

Because the extern program provides a great present and future benefit to the AVMA, Dr. Michael Chaddock, GRD director, asked that the board restore the $10,000 per year budgeted funding that was first authorized in 1992. The board approved Dr. Chaddock's recommendation.