Executive Board acts to enhance certification process

Measures will advance ECFVG process
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Dr. Roger K. MahrThe 2003-2004 AVMA Executive Board held its final meeting July 22 in Philadelphia, chaired by Dr. Joe M. Howell of Oklahoma City. Six days later, also in Philadelphia, the 2004-2005 board conducted its first meeting of the new Association year.


The first order of business July 28 was to elect a new chair. Dr. Roger K. Mahr, District VI, of Geneva, Ill., ran unopposed and was elected. Dr. Robert E. Hertzog, District VII, of Lees Summit, Mo., is the new vice chair.


Dr. Mahr owns a small animal hospital and has been president of the Illinois State and Chicago VMAs. This is his last year on the Executive Board, but he has announced his candidacy for AVMA president-elect in 2005 (JAVMA, Sept. 1. If elected, he will remain on the board as president-elect, president, and immediate past president.


July 22 board actions
The board approved the following joint statement issued by the AVMA and American Association of Veterinary State Boards on July 15 explaining the reason that dialogue has ended in the initiative to develop a single, independent educational equivalence examination for graduates of veterinary institutions not AVMA-accredited:


On July 15, 2004, representatives of the AVMA Executive Board and AAVSB Executive Committee met in the spirit of openness and collegiality to determine whether it was possible to find areas of consensus toward developing a single, independent assessment program to evaluate the educational equivalence of graduates of non-AVMA-accredited schools/colleges of veterinary medicine.


However, philosophically, the AVMA and AAVSB could not reach agreement regarding the first of several important issues that needed to be addressed in order to proceed toward the development of such a program. That is—what should be the organizational structure of an independent entity?


Two separate organizational structures were evaluated; neither could be agreed upon. As such, the consensus reached by the representatives was to agree to disagree for now.


Through these discussions, the AVMA and AAVSB have gained a better appreciation for each association and the respective role each plays. The AVMA and AAVSB remain committed to their respective missions, serving the American public and the veterinary profession to the best of their abilities.


For a report on developments that led to the joint decision, and reaction from members of the working group, see JAVMA, Sept. 1, beginning on page 657.


The board gave its consent for two activities to enhance the certification program of the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates. First, the board approved, in concept, exploring the potential of developing a temporary Clinical Proficiency Examination site, possibly to test ECFVG candidates in Las Vegas prior to the final development of a Western Veterinary Conference site. This will help to ensure that the increasing number of candidates registered to sit for the CPE are accommodated. In August, the board approved funding for a temporary CPE site in Las Vegas; more to come in the Oct. 1 News.


The board also approved a new AVMA staff position in the Education and Research Division for an ECFVG testing coordinator. This individual will, among other things, oversee quality assurance and development programs for the assessment tools used to evaluate veterinary knowledge and skill levels of graduates of nonaccredited schools, schedule examinations, collect fees, and communicate with candidates.


Drs. Pidgeon and HertzogTo preserve the safety and efficacy protections of the animal drug approval process and the privileges granted to the veterinary profession by the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act, the board approved a recommendation directing the AVMA to be proactive in educational efforts addressing the issue of compounding from bulk drugs. The efforts would be involve congressional offices, regulatory agencies, and veterinarians. The AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee and the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents submitted the recommendation. See related articles on pages 801, 802, and 804.


The board approved the addition of a donation envelope in the annual dues mailing to AVMA members, for contributions to the AVMA Political Action Committee. By the end of the 2008 election cycle, the AVMAPAC Policy Board hopes to reach its goal of becoming a $1 million PAC. The donation envelope will make it easier for AVMA members to pay their dues with a corporate check and enclose a separate, personal check (or use a personal credit card) for the PAC.


The board authorized the AVMA vice president and one staff member to attend Washington State University's Veterinary Leadership Orientation Experience in August 2004, at a total cost of $1,000. This innovative leadership retreat is aimed at boosting veterinary students' communications and teamwork skills, and draws students from many colleges (see JAVMA, Aug. 1, 2004).


July 28 board actions
The board approved using the Olcott Consulting Group of Wachovia Securities as an investment consulting firm for the Association. In his July 23 report to the House of Delegates, AVMA Treasurer James F. Peddie mentioned that for the AVMA's long-term investments, officials have met and corresponded with association management firms working on developing a personalized investment management program.


Financial support of $8,850 for 2005 was approved for a member of the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Medical Informatics to serve as liaison to the Health Level 7 and the Logical Observation Identifier Names and Codes standards organizations. The funds will be used for dues and meeting costs. The HL7 provides a common format and syntax for electronic data exchange, and LOINC presents a common set of names for describing clinical and laboratory observations.


The board approved the preparation of plaques recognizing the 100th year of the founding of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Faculdad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the 50th year of the founding of the Universidad Austral de Chile, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Valdivia, Chile. An AVMA representative will present the plaques during celebrations for each institution.


The board approved a recommendation to delay the selection of the 2013 AVMA Annual Convention site until fall 2005.