Veterinary family practice association debuts

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The Association for Veterinary Family Practice made its official debut July 18 at a press conference during the AVMA Annual Convention in Hawaii.

The AVFP was formed in response to recent social and technologic changes—the ever-strengthening human-animal bond and medical advances, for instance—that have influenced the practice of primary care veterinary medicine.

Dr. Rick Timmins of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine said the association's mission is to identify and promote the specialized education required for an integrated veterinary team to provide primary health care for companion animals and enhance their roles in families and communities.

"Primary care must evolve from a reactive 'repair shop' paradigm to a proactive health maintenance organization focused on the pet's role in the family, and emphasizing risk assessment, disease prevention, and wellness surveillance," Dr. Timmins said.

Later this year, the UC-Davis veterinary school will offer a series of continuing education modules that will award participants credentials in veterinary family practice. This is the first step toward formation of an Academy of Veterinary Family Practice, and, eventually, specialty status for Veterinary Family Practitioners, according to Dr. Timmins.

For more information about the Association for Veterinary Family Practice, visit