(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) May 2, 2013 – The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board received the final report from the Task Force on Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation at its April meeting. The Board forwarded the report to the AVMA Council on Education (COE) for its review. The Board will discuss the report during its June meeting, as well as consider any response provided by the COE.
The task force was formed in August 2011 as a result of an AVMA House of Delegates’ resolution calling for a review of the accreditation of foreign veterinary schools. The 11-member task force was charged with performing an unbiased peer review of the accreditation of foreign veterinary schools, addressing:
- the impact of foreign veterinary school accreditation on the U.S. veterinary profession and the quality and standards of the veterinary profession in the United States;
- the impact of not requiring certification by ECFVG or PAVE for graduates of AVMA COE-accredited foreign schools;
- the existence of any international pressure on the AVMA COE for accrediting foreign veterinary schools;
- how foreign veterinary school accreditation serves the needs and interests of the public and AVMA members; and
- the logistics of accrediting foreign veterinary schools.
The report concludes that foreign veterinary school accreditation benefits both U.S. and foreign practitioners; yet the task force has requested clarification of some accreditation standards, demonstrating the complex nature of the process.
A key benefit of foreign veterinary medical school accreditation highlighted in the report is that it enhances global knowledge and helps in the coordination of responses to emerging and zoonotic diseases, food safety, and other potential public health concerns by improving the overall veterinary infrastructure around the globe.
One of the challenges cited in the report was a general lack of understanding regarding how the COE applies consistent accreditation standards in schools with different educational models around the world.
The report in its entirety is available on the AVMA’s website and members may join the discussion on NOAH, the AVMA’s online discussion forum.