Consorting with Foresight

Published on December 01, 2008
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The Foresight Report of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has emerged as the focal point for discussions to determine the future of veterinary education.

As a key stakeholder, the AVMA has committed to participating in the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium. The AAVMC is organizing this broad coalition of stakeholders from the public and private sectors to develop a national plan for possible implementation of recommendations in the report.

The AVMA Executive Board in November approved participation in the consortium. AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven noted the activity is within the Association's veterinary education strategic goal, which states: The AVMA Council on Education accreditation process is the premier standard for veterinary medical education globally.

"There's broad agreement that it's time to take a look and make some significant changes to our veterinary education model, and this is going to be the forum from which that will be launched," Dr. DeHaven said.

In April, the AVMA Executive Board created a Foresight Report Task Force, which is reviewing the document in detail and drafting a report for board consideration. This will ensure the AVMA is prepared to participate in discussions with other stakeholders.

The 2007 Foresight Report, titled "Envisioning the Future of Veterinary Medical Education: The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Foresight Project, Final Report," comprises 45 recommendations, many of which would impact the AVMA.

Dr. Janver Krehbiel, District V board member, chairs the AVMA task force. Dr. Krehbiel said the task force unanimously believes in this initiative. The Council on Education also strongly supports AVMA participation in the consortium.

"Even though the cost is substantial, I don't think there is any question we have got to be at this table," Dr. DeHaven said.

The initiative includes a $50,000 membership fee from the Strategic Goal Fund within the AVMA reserves. Depending whether a fundraising target is met, an additional $8,000 is authorized if needed, to send two AVMA representatives to four meetings.