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Many veterinarians donated their time and expertise after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. You, too, may have considered volunteering.
Many veterinarians donated their time and expertise after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. You, too, may have considered volunteering. Keep in mind, says Gregory Dennis, a lawyer with Kent T. Perry & Co. LLC in Overland Park, Kan., if you're volunteering as a private practitioner for a nongovernmental entity, you need a temporary license from the state before practicing veterinary medicine. Without one, you could face regulatory action.
If you're working as part of a government agency—including a Veterinary Medical Assistance Team, the USDA, or the U.S. Military—then you don't need a temporary license. The state government could also amend the regulation. For example, Gov. Kathleen Blanco permitted out-of-state veterinarians to practice medicine in Louisiana until Oct. 25 without an in-state license.
Making sure you're meeting licensing requirements is just one part of volunteering over state lines, says Dennis. "You should also check with your malpractice insurance carrier to make sure your policy will cover you," he says. "And check your DEA registration to see whether you're allowed to prescribe and administer controlled substances in another state."