"We recognize that there are many ways to educate students to become veterinarians and that each college is unique and serves
a unique constituency," says Dr. Willie M. Reed, immediate past president of the AAVMC Board of Directors and dean of the
Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. "But this effort will go a long way toward ensuring that academic veterinary
medicine continues to evolve and adapt in order to remain relevant. With NAVMEC, academic veterinary medicine continues to
be one step ahead of change."
Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, executive director of AAVMC, says the organization is "delighted" with the report. The final report
was heavily edited from its initial draft, taking into account more than 350 comments during the review process, she says.
"The interest, the commitment, everybody's contributions were just great," she says. "There's no question, to me, the biggest
recommendation is (about the) core competencies that every veterinarian should know, no matter where they're going to go in
the profession. The idea here is that every veterinarian should know something about more than one species. It really allows
for the flexibility that's promised in the report title."
Professional competencies, such as business sense and communication skills, are addressed, too. The report recommends identifying
a testing mechanism to make sure veterinarians possess these skills.
"We know that more work will be needed to really make sure competencies are written in a way they can be assessed," she says,
adding human medicine now tests for communication skills in its examination process. "There are ways to do that, so we can
learn from other professions how to test for some of these newer competencies."
As far as putting the final report into action, Pappaioanou says there is still much work to be done, and, while many veterinary
colleges are already implementing some of these recommendations, there is room for more collaboration.
"Colleges cannot do it all individually, and there needs to be more sharing," she says. "Nothing will happen overnight."
Copies of the final report will be posted on AAVMC's website and distributed throughout the profession once final corrections
are made, Pappaioanou says. In the fall, NAVMEC participants will be contacted again to participate in a workshop to evaluate
the recommendations and to start developing a plan of action. Pappaioanou says the group will devise a way to start collecting
baseline information about where the profession is today so that future progress can be measured.