Feud fizzles as veterinary groups unite


Dallas-An impromptu deal between two of the country's top veterinary organizations has both sides tight-lipped on tentative plans to unite their rival veterinary medical standards.

Dallas-An impromptu deal between two of the country's top veterinaryorganizations has both sides tight-lipped on tentative plans to unite theirrival veterinary medical standards.

Representatives of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) refuse todiscuss the proposal, which reportedly details the future status of theAAVSB's model practice act and foreign graduate equivalency exam. Specificswon't be publicized until both groups' top officers vote on the plan laterthis month, AAVSB Executive Director Charlotte Ronan says.

In the meantime, inaugural tests for the group's Program for the Assessmentof Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) - an alternative to the AVMA'sEducational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) program- remain on target for January. Also, the AAVSB's model practice act, whichincorporates PAVE and challenges the AVMA's own long-standing version, isshowcased on the organization's Web site for implementation.

Model practice acts provide a blueprint for state licensing agenciesand legislators when creating veterinary medical standards and regulations.

Programs such as PAVE and ECFVG are designed to test the skills of foreignveterinary graduates for U.S. licensure.

"Things haven't really been put together in this plan yet. The conceptis there, but the particulars aren't," AVMA Executive Director BruceLittle says. "We've agreed to work something out, but it would be counterproductiveto talk about that right now."


In late September, AVMA and AAVSB each sent three members to meet forthe first time in Dallas. Little is known publicly about what came of theirdiscussions, but AAVSB President James Corely, one of the attendees, sayshe's optimistic about the potential for both sides to work together.

"We're trying to build a better working relationship with AVMA andthis meeting was a first step," he says. "There seems to be alot of work in front of us.

"It just seems like when everyone talks, we don't make any progress."

AVMA/AAVSB archives

Months of controversy surrounding the AAVSB's model practice act andPAVE came to a head last August in Boston as both groups kicked off theirannual meetings.

AVMA had just spent thousands of dollars on a public relations campaignto thwart the rival practice act's passage, as AAVSB delegates were setto vote on its draft. And days before AAVSB members met, the AVMA's Houseof Delegates united in opposition against the new document.

The AVMA, which has governed the country's model veterinary code andequivalency standards for decades, claimed the AAVSB's efforts were shoddyand likely to cause confusion among the states. AAVSB backers cited theAVMA's involvement in veterinary regulations as a conflict of interest andaccused the group of being power hungry and greedy, fearful of losing theprofits its equivalency program generates.

To an extent, the AVMA's fault-finding efforts proved successful. Bythe time AAVSB delegates joined for a vote, many were uneasy. The AAVSB'smodel practice act passed only in draft form, and while the document hasbeen released to the public, AAVSB members say revisions are necessary.

Now, both sides have agreed to work together. Leaders from each groupsay the future of the AAVSB's model practice act and PAVE are unclear, butRonan, the group's top official, says she thinks any plan must accommodateboth sides.

A resolution is forthcoming, but Little predicts it won't happen anytimesoon.

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