June 15, 2014

Pet health insurance has grown more popular, although its use is still not widespread. About 2 percent of U.S. dog and cat owners hold policies. The policies remain more similar to automobile or homeowners insurance than to human health insurance, with most companies in the industry reimbursing pet owners for veterinary care following treatment of a pet for an accident or illness.

AVMA

The AVMA has embarked on an in-depth evaluation of what members want and need from their national veterinary association. In January 2014, the leadership of the Association launched the AVMA Strategy Management Process to reshape the Association to meet the challenges of a new competitive environment.

Issues

A report from the World Health Organization indicates the world may be approaching a “post-antibiotic era” because of the prevalence of drug resistance among bacteria commonly acquired in community and health care settings. In some countries, more than 50 percent of isolates of some bacteria are resistant to the drugs commonly used to treat infections.

Practice

An organization that created business education courses for rural veterinarians plans to hand over the courses to others to maintain and update. Gary Clapp, PhD, project manager for the National Food Animal Veterinary Institute, said federal funding for the institute is expected to run out at the end of June, and he hopes by then to have agreements through which the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will ensure that the courses remain relevant and available for purchase.

Community

The proposed Veterinary Medical & Surgical Program at the University of Arizona recently encountered a roadblock when state legislators denied allocating funding once again. However, Dr. Shane Burgess, dean of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, says plans to open the veterinary program will continue but with a focus on securing private funding.