New Clinical Proficiency Examination site proposed

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The AVMA and the Western Veterinary Conference are teaming up to establish a temporary site in Las Vegas to offer the Clinical Proficiency Examination. The temporary site should help with the increasing number of veterinarians who want to take the examination.

"AVMA is going to supply the money for the temporary site, a lease and the (site) improvements," said Dr. Jack O. Walther, immediate past president of the AVMA and president of the WVC. "Western Veterinary Conference is going to supply the expertise, manpower, and the funding to give the test." The AVMA will also pay for utilities and insurance.

Most foreign-trained individuals who want to practice veterinary medicine in the United States must satisfy state requirements and complete four steps of the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates Program. One of the steps is passing the CPE.

As of August, there were 53 candidates waiting to be assigned a date for the 3.5-day, hands-on clinical skills examination. The ECFVG offers the CPE at Mississippi State University, Oklahoma State University, Tuskegee University, University of California-Davis, and the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and all CPE positions offered at these institutions for 2005 are full.

The CPE is also offered by the Canadian National Examining Board at the four AVMA-accredited schools in Canada. As part of the Canadian process of educational equivalence for provincial licensure, graduates of non-AVMA-accredited veterinary schools also have to take the CPE.

This past June, the WVC board voted to include the CPE as an integral component of its educational center under construction in Las Vegas. The conference decided to build the center, in part, so that it could more easily offer wet labs at its annual meeting, and then recognized that the center could have a dual role and offer the CPE. Since the building won't be finished until February 2006 at the earliest, however, the AVMA and WVC concluded that a temporary site was needed to more immediately meet the increasing demand for this high-stakes examination.

In August, the Executive Board approved funding for the temporary site, estimated to be $760,000 to $850,000 over three years. The money will come from the Association's reserves and is anticipated to be offset by funds derived from the CPE Quality Assurance Program.

To ensure quality of the examinations administered at the new site, the ECFVG will conduct at least two evaluations,; one prior to the first CPE administered and the second during the first examination, anticipated to be administered in the fourth quarter of 2004 or first quarter of 2005.

At press time, the AVMA and WVC were fine-tuning their business agreement.