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Almost 200 Stakeholders Attend the Final NAVMEC National Meeting on “Next Generation” of Veterinary Medical Education

The final of three national meetings to discuss the future of veterinary medical education concluded July 16, 2010, after three days of presentations and discussions about licensing, testing, accreditation and implementation. The North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium, or NAVMEC, was launched by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) in 2009 in collaboration with its partners to ensure that veterinary medical education meets the changing needs of society.

Representing the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine were Dr. John Dodam, chairman of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, and Dr. Ron Cott, associate dean of Student and Alumni Affairs and director of Development. Dr. Marie Kerl also attended the conference representing the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

During the first two national meetings, participants discussed changing societal needs and professional competencies and developed nine different veterinary medical education models. The third and final national meeting synthesized the information from the first two meetings in the context of moving forward with recommendations to AAVMC for an implementation phase of NAVMEC.

The NAVMEC Board of Directors will take the discussions and findings from all three meetings to produce a roadmap for veterinary medical education that is flexible and builds on the strengths of U.S. and Canadian Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. The directors will write a report that concludes with key recommendations based on the discussions at the three meetings. This report will be submitted to the AAVMC Board of Directors later this year and will be shared with the leadership of veterinary medical accreditation and testing/licensing associations. The report will also include a summary of ideas from NAVMEC participants on how best to implement the findings of the consortium.

“We understand that implementation of the recommendations in the final NAVMEC report is critical for the NAVMEC initiative to bring about the comprehensive change needed in veterinary medical education,” said Dean Bennie Osburn, DVM, Ph.D, University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Chairman of the NAVMEC Board of Directors. “Our third meeting brought us one step closer to making this change possible.”

The third meeting included two days of presentations on competencies in veterinary medical education developed by participants at the first NAVMEC meeting, educational presentations on licensing, testing and accreditation and innovation break-outs where participants developed their own ideas on how to best modify accreditation standards and licensing and testing processes to address changing societal needs and core competencies. The final half day included a question and answer session with world-renowned author of Leading Change, John P. Kotter, D.B.A., followed by an interactive brainstorming session on how to best implement the recommendations developed through NAVMEC.

The comprehensive outcomes report and executive summary from the final meeting will be available upon review and approval by the NAVMEC Board of Directors and will be available at www.navmec.org. The outcomes reports and executive summaries from the first and second meetings are already available on the site.

Who Is Part of NAVMEC?

In order to produce as comprehensive an outcome as possible, AAVMC invited the participation of close to 400 groups and organizations with an interest in veterinary medical education. A total of approximately 200 groups and individuals have joined the consortium, including co-sponsors who helped underwrite NAVMEC infrastructure and other groups and individuals wishing to participate in discussions. Both co-sponsors and partner organizations are invited to send a representative to the three national meetings.

Those groups and individuals making a financial contribution are designated “co-sponsors.” All co-sponsors have been invited to name a representative who would not only participate at the national meetings, but are also invited to be part of an advisory panel that will help plan the national meetings, make recommendations concerning the organization of consortium meetings, regularly review the progress of the consortium, and make recommendations to the consortium board of directors as the final national report is being drafted for submission to the AAVMC Board of Directors.

The participants include AAVMC national and international member institutions; accreditation, licensure and testing groups; national veterinary associations from the United States, Canada and Brazil; state veterinary medical associations; veterinary industry; veterinary species and specialty organizations; animal welfare/activist groups; ancillary veterinary entities; and individuals interested in veterinary medical education.

How is NAVMEC Governed?

AAVMC launched NAVMEC in 2009 and is providing the leadership for this initiative. The NAVMEC Board of Directors, representing the three pillars of NAVMEC — education, accreditation and testing/licensure — will make final decisions concerning NAVMEC policies, procedures and outcomes that will be recommended to the AAVMC Board of Directors.

The nine person NAVMEC Board is designed to support significant and meaningful advances in veterinary medical education. It is the first board ever composed equally of representatives of licensure/testing, education and accreditation — the entities most responsible for addressing societal needs that veterinarians will face.

About NAVMEC

NAVMEC is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken to create a workforce of next generation veterinarians who are ready to address some of society’s greatest needs, taking into account educational models, accreditation, testing and licensing. On the Web: www.navmec.org.

About AAVMC

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by generating new knowledge and preparing the high quality veterinary workforce needed to meet continually changing societal demands for veterinary expertise. AAVMC provides leadership for and promotes excellence in academic veterinary medicine to prepare the veterinary workforce with the scientific knowledge and skills required to meet societal needs through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge. On the Web: www.aavmc.org.

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Last Update: February 24, 2012