House of Delegates considers resolution on accreditation of foreign schools

House of Delegates considers resolution on accreditation of foreign schools

Texas Veterinary Medical Association suggests international pressures make it difficult to remain unbiased
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Aug 01, 2010

Schaumburg, Ill. — The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) proposed a resolution asking the American Veterinary Medical Association's Executive Board to conduct a risk-benefit analysis of AVMA's Council on Education's (COE) accreditation process for foreign veterinary schools. While the House of Delegates will consider the resolution at its regular annual session later this month, early indications are that many are not excited by the plan.

The TVMA wants the AVMA to study the accreditation of these foreign veterinary schools and believes that there are undue logistical burdens on the COE as a result of the accreditation process. Further, TVMA said in its proposed resolution that international pressures may put the COE in a difficult position and hamper its ability to remain unbiased.

TVMA's third concern relates to certification requirements. In its resolution, TVMA writes that it is "...troubled by the fact that graduates of these foreign schools are not required to receive certification from either the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence."

AVMA's Executive Board met in Schaumburg, Ill., in June and discussed the issue. According to reports, some members were not inclined to make a recommendation to the full House of Delegates, thinking it might bias the outcome. After some debate, the board voted to recommend disapproving the resolution. The vote was unanimous.

The Executive Board named two reasons for its recommendation. The resolution called for the board to assign a task force, and the board pointed out that, according to AVMA's bylaws, the House of Delegates can only call on the board to do something and has no mandate authority.

Second, the board did not agree with the reasoning behind the resolution, such as pressure from foreign governments and logistics. In the meeting, District II board member Dr. John R. Brooks says, "Because of what we've achieved through accreditation and how we've educated veterinarians and the value we've placed on veterinary medicine, we've been recognized as having standards that other countries want to achieve...."

The full House of Delegates will consider the resolution July 29-30 in Atlanta.