Foreign Accreditation Task Force Report Now Available

At its April meeting, the AVMA Executive Board received the final report from the AVMA Task Force on Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation.

To refresh your memory, the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) passed Resolution #5, Formation of Foreign Accreditation Task Force, in July 2011. This resolution recommended that the AVMA Executive Board form a task force to perform a peer review of the accreditation of foreign veterinary schools, addressing the impact of the AVMA Council on Education (COE) procedure and the consequences of this program on the veterinary profession in the United States, and the quality of standards for the veterinary profession in the United States.

The Task Force’s final report, as received by the Executive Board, is now available on our site. A JAVMA News Express article provides more information, and AVMA and SAVMA members are welcome to join the discussion in NOAH, our online discussion groups.

34 thoughts on “Foreign Accreditation Task Force Report Now Available

  1. I proudly agree with Carl Darby. If all of us paying members were polled, the strong majority would be very angry about where the COE has put us. If the COE doesn’t change, we can have a new accrediting body recognized in July of 2015. The AVMA has to be losing members like crazy

    • I thought that this might shed some light on why it is many of us are upset with our leaderhship.

      6/21/13

      Dear members of the executive board,

      I would like to express my profound disappointment in your decision to continue foreign accreditation, given that the decision was made without sufficiently evaluating the impact that it may have upon your membership.

      We pay dues under the assumption that a social contract exists between us and the AVMA; that the AVMA will use the supplied resources to effectively promote and protect our professional interests. That is what occurs with most trade/professional organizations. Perhaps this assumption is incorrect and the AVMA merely accepts donations to be used however the executive board sees fit, but I believe that the AVMA’s tax exempt, 501 c 6 status is predicated upon the “protection and promotion” of our interests. Furthermore, it is implied on the AVMA’s website that this organization exists for its members. With that in mind, I believe that the AVMA has failed in its responsibility to its members.

      By restricting the scope of the task force study, the executive board impeded the task force’s ability to collect and analyze the information required to answer the questions behind Resolution 5. Consequently, the final report failed to adequately evaluate the effect of foreign accreditation on the U.S. veterinary profession and the executive board failed to uphold its primary responsibility to advocate for its members. It could be argued that this decision ran in direct opposition to your member’s best interests. To decide on a course of action without knowing the full impact of said action is irresponsible and is no different than treating a patient with a medication before we understand its side effects. Many would consider that malpractice, or at the very least, very poor judgment.

      It is possible, as claimed by the executive board, that this process will lead to the improvement of the world’s veterinary education and that this will have a positive, trickle down effect on the veterinary profession stateside. I ask AT WHAT COST? When the pertinent data is finally collected and analyzed, it will likely show a negative impact; meaning that your actions will have harmed your membership. In addition, your actions have made a mockery of the AVMA’s due process with regards to the HOD and have removed all credibility from any and all other reports. In short, you have thrown away the AVMA’s credibility and have pursued your own agenda to the detriment of your membership. You have disillusioned many of your members and they will not likely see the point in participating in the AVMA for concern that their efforts will be wasted, especially if they are in disagreement with the executive board.

      It is imperative that the AVMA go back to the basics and advocate for its members. That would likely result in a strong, unified, and healthy profession; one that would continue to attract the best and brightest and provide them with a emotionally and financially rewarding career. We have lots of work to do.

      Sincerely
      Greg Nutt DVM

  2. Dr. DeHaven,

    I realize that you are busy, so I will keep this short and ask only for a yes or no answer. Did you or any agent/representitive of the AVMA guide this task force on what they could or could not evaluate?

    This is extremely important , especially since the AVMA is trying to become more transparent to its membership.
    Thank you for your time.

    Greg Nutt

    • Dr. Nutt,

      Thank you for your questions. As with every AVMA committee, council and task force, there was staff support to assist with meeting logistics and for background; the substance of the report came from the Task Force. The AVMA General Counsel addressed the Task Force and reviewed their report to identify potential risk areas (from a legal perspective to limit AVMA’s legal exposure) and provide advice accordingly.
      In terms of “not being permitted to talk about workforce issues,” Task Force members quickly realized that evaluating the impact of foreign school accreditation on the veterinary workforce in the U.S. was not part of their charge, in that the COE cannot consider workforce or economic issues when making accreditation decisions. These decisions are based solely on whether or not the institution satisfies the standards.
      Also, making policy recommendations to the Executive Board was not part of the charge to the Task Force. The Task Force’s charge/objective is below:
      “The Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation Task Force was charged to evaluate the following issues given the current environment projected over 10 years, and prepare a written informational report, without prejudice, to the Executive Board:
      1. The impact of foreign veterinary school accreditation on the US veterinary profession, and the quality of standards for the US veterinary profession;
      2. The impact of not requiring certification by the Educational Commission on Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Medical Education (PAVE) for graduates of AVMA-COE-accredited foreign schools;
      3. How foreign veterinary school accreditation serves the needs and interests of the public;
      4. How foreign veterinary school accreditation serves the needs and interests of AVMA members;
      5. The existence of any international pressure on the AVMA-COE to accredit foreign veterinary schools;
      6. The logistical resources required to accredit foreign veterinary schools.”

      AVMA Executive Board members are listening to feedback from the Council on Education, AVMA House of Delegates, and AVMA members before discussing foreign school accreditation at their June 6-8 meeting.
      You may be interested in the article in the June 1 issue of JAVMA, “Statistics shed light on international education. Foreign graduates constitute 10% of U.S. workforce.” It is an interesting look at the issue “by the numbers.”

      Ron DeHaven,
      CEO, AVMA

      • Thanks for the heads up on the JAVMA news/Malinda Larkin’s perspective on Foreign accreditation.

        To save others time, I found it was in the June 15 issue, not the June 1 issue.

        Paul D. Pion, DVM, DACVIM(Cardiology)
        co-founder, VIN
        Davis, CA

      • Thank you for your input.

        As I read it, general counsel basically told the task force not to concern themselves with workforce issues as they relate to foreign accreditation because to do so would put the COE at risk. The big question is, ARE WE AT RISK? We, being the dues paying members of this organization.

        This is a conflict of interest, Ron. If you cannot evaluate the impact of your (the avma’s actions) on your members for fear of muddying the waters of your accreditation business, you are in one business too many. You can’t do both in this situation.

        I would hope that the AVMA would see this and realize that by refusing to answer all of the questions as they relate to resolution 5, you are doing your membership a grave disservice. And if you are saying that all questions were answered, you are simply not being truthful.

        Go back to question number one. That was what the resolution was all about and the task force failed to adequately answer based on the AVMA’s instruction. Does that not seem wrong to you, that your dues paying members take a back seat to accreditation.

        It seems wrong to me and many of my colleagues.

        As always,
        I thank you for your time.

        Greg Nutt

        • Ron,

          Can you see why some AVMA members feel that this is a conflict of interest?

          • Dr. Dehaven,

            Are you there? Can you see how some dues paying members of the AVMA might feel that this is a conflict of interest on the AVMA’s part?

          • Ron,

            Have you stopped talking with us now? I would really appreciate an answer to the question I posed over two weeks ago.

            Can you see why some of us feel that this is a direct conflict of interest?

            I respectfully request an answer.

      • So,

        Short answer is YES, you did influence this task force and their report, possibly to the detriment of your membership.

        I say possibly because we can’t know for sure unless we study it and we cannot study it if we have a conflict of interest relating to this matter.

  3. I have some questions to pose. If the US Dept of Education has granted the rights of accreditation to the COE, and the COE is part of the AVMA; then wouldn’t it (US Dept of Ed) be interested in the effects of the influx of foreign veterinarians on the US workforce? Do they know that US taxpayer loans go to foreign students?

    By accrediting foreign schools, taxpayer money is sent abroad and more competition comes back. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of supporting foreign countries in any way, shape, or form.

    • Dan,

      I attended and spoke at the NACIQI review of COE in December.

      Although one member of the committee, an administrator at a law school, did raise the question of workforce issues (no surprise he was sensitive to this issue), the consensus was the NACIQI board could not consider that in their review.

      One member of the committee, an administrator at one of the larger private College Inc enterprises even stated: “More vets, lower prices, sound good to me.” This our AVMA took as part of their victory over those who they depicted in JAVMA as dissenters.

      If standing up for our colleague, current and future, and our profession’s health is our AVMA’s definition of dissent, then I’ll proudly wear the title.

      AVMA can claim that they are following the rules and their hands are tied. What they fail to admit is they made those rules. They have paved the river upon which the profession now must sail. They paved that river voluntarily with respect to foreign accreditation.

      I am a supporter of all colleagues. I value my relationship with colleagues worldwide — in private practice, in academia, and in all branches of our wonderful profession. There is nothing I wouldn’t do (within reason and within my power) to help any veterinary student or colleague — anywhere in the world.

      But I cannot support the flooding of the profession with deeply endebted new graduates as the solution to the financial situation of our schools — foreign or domestic. It is true that this is a huge and multi-faceted issue with no single or easy solution.

      The most immediate solution would be the federal government putting rational limits on the amount veterinary and all students can borrow — perhaps tied to a multiple of the expected starting salary for their degree. 1x, maybe 1.5x would seem appropriate. This is obviously not an AVMA choice to make — though they could publicly support it.

      The AVMA can choose to stop being a foreign school accreditor. This will slow the flow of loan monies to students attending foreign schools now and stop it in July 2015, when new rules come into effect regarding federal student loan funds for veterinary students attending foreign schools.

      AVMA has the power to choose. What they lack is the ability to ever admit they might have made an error. They would rather prove themselves right than do right by you and your fellow members.

      No one can predict the impact of any action with relation to this problem. All one can do is what they think is right and make choices they think are fair and appropriate for those they represent. AVMA might think they are doing the right thing for the world. I don’t think they are. And they certainly aren’t doing the right thing for those they claim to represent.

      AVMA says they are not responsible for the problems being faced as a result of the oversupply (excuse me, excess capacity) they helped create by ignoring the data they spend member money to collect). I believe this was and is bad choices by good people.

      But it is time to admit AVMA has erred deeply and choose to fulfill their role of representing and protecting and promoting the veteirnary profession.

      If not, they should remove the tagline WE ARE VETERINARY MEDICINE from their website and all other places it exists.

      I do not believe they have represented, protected or promoted the veterinary profession in ways the majority of their membership would like to see it done.

      It is the MEMBERSHIP’s AVMA, not THEIRS It is time those in power demonstrated that they understand that by making choices and taking stands their membership can believe is in their best interest.

      • I want to add one more comment. Describing a belly-ache I feel deeply.

        I think we all agree action needs to be taken. Status quo — what AVMA strives to sustain here — is not acceptable. But recognize that all action has risk and pain and potential victims/harm.

        Slowing or stopping the tide of federal student loans to students attending foreign veterinary schools has the risk to harm those currently in the programs. This thought puts a knot in my stomach every time I raise the thought.

        These individuals are our colleagues as much as anyone. They put their trust in the system. When, not if, this bubble pops, whether it begins by AVMA taking action or the government taking action, I sincerely hope it is done in a way that will allows those in the system currently to finish their degree programs.

        Yes, I know that delays the “fix.” But it would be the right thing to do. These innocents didn’t know that they were entering into this profession (and deep debt) in seats that exist primarily to balance the budget of the foreign and College Inc schools they proudly attend, and that they are the vehicles upon which these dollars can be extracted from the federal student loan system.

      • Forgot to include a signature, so posting to add it:

        >>>Paul<<<
        Paul D. Pion, DVM, DipACVIM(Cardiology)
        co-founding, VIN
        Davis, CA

      • Paul, thanks for the information. It’s interesting that it had to come from you and not anyone on the AVMA staff. I can’t get anyone from the AMVA that will answer my questions on this message board or the one on vet oversupply (I refuse to be PC on this term!).

        I do agree that the students in the system now should not be harmed by decisions to cut funding; but that’s easy enough to do when the bill is passed. I feel that the only way this tide is going to be turned is to focus attention on potential students and educate them and their parents on the lack of value a degree in veterinary medicine has. I never thought I would ever disuade someone from going into the profession I love; but I can no longer see present and future colleagues miss out on the standard of living I have been privileged to obtain with my career. Granted, I’m not a millionaire; but my family has been provided for and I have received enormous “wealth” from the satisfaction veterinary medicine has given me.

        My association (AVMA) has truly abandoned me and my colleagues in practice and I am hurt and disappointed in the lack of leadership and the folding to special interests. So I will also disuade anyone interested in becoming a member in the AVMA.

  4. I really find it hard to find the words for how dissappointed I am in the AVMA. This organization has lost any contact or knowledge of what is going on in this industry ,especially private practice. The arrogance, the censorship, the simple immature enability to admit that policies of the past may have had inadvertant negative effects and make honest steps to correct them. The profession is being lead over a cliff and the AVMA will not even admit that the cliff exist. The explanations given for these actions never seem logical or make sense. It seems as if the AVMA has other priorities than the future economic health of it’s members.
    We either need to get very involved in the elections and then fire a lot of staff. Or many of us will leave this group because they do not represent us anymore. I find this very sad that it has come to this.
    I ask you Dr. DeHaven to please take real action and serve your members.

    Mickey Wiltz DVM

  5. I have gone back and read the report multiple times, in addition to reading the JAVMA NEWS EXPRESS article. What are the negative effects of foreign accreditation on the U.S. veterinary profession?

    Dr. Dehaven, can you answer this for me and my colleagues? We can’t seem to find the answer.

  6. Dr. DeHaven, I really have a hard time expressing to you my disappointment in the AVMA. Over the years I have not always agreed with the AVMA decisions or the bureacracy ,but I did think you had the profession and members interest at heart.These past 10-15 years have certainly changed my opinion. I really have no idea who you are supporting at this point. It certainly is not your members. The organization’s constant insistance on a shortage of vets, and confusing and inconsistant accreditation policies both foriegn and domestic have been baffling. It seems you have your own agenda and /or do not have have the maturity or honesty to say we made a mistake and now need to go in a different direction. When it comes to accreditation , our first rule” first do no harm” never came into the conversation.
    We have serious issues before us. Oversupply of small animal private practioners, and cost of veterinary school doubling in the past 10 years are two of the biggest. Along with a decrease perception and influence of veterinarians with the public. We do not need task forces, committees,and months and years to study these things. What we need is leadership, honesty,and less bullshit. The profession is headed toward a potential economic cliff ,and you guys do not even see the cliff. It seems the AVMA is more concerned with editing decenting voices and protecting your own image than you are protecting your own members. This has to stop. Changes have to be made now. If we continue on like this ,our profession will be significantly diminished and the AVMA will be at best a fractured small organization. That indeed would be sad. I sincerely hope you look in the mirror and seriously think about what myself and others have said in this blog.

    Mickey Wiltz DVM

  7. How does this :

    Once task force members set to work, they quickly realized that evaluating the impact of foreign school accreditation on the veterinary workforce in the U.S. was not part of their charge, in that the COE cannot consider workforce or economic issues when making accreditation decisions.

    go with this ?:

    The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), established in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 84,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services. Structured to work for its members, the AVMA acts as a collective voice for its membership and for the profession

    Those two cannot go together, so what is the AVMA’s mission? And while we are at it, why can’t the AVMA task force study the effects of accreditiation on the AVMA’s members IF the AVMA and the COE are seperate and independent as we have been told.

    CAN ANYONE IN THE INNER WORKINGS OF THE AVMA ANSWER THIS?

      • Greg,

        We have received several comments and questions such as yours, so I appreciate the opportunity to provide clarification on the role of AVMA COE accreditation of veterinary colleges. Part of the answer is found in this quote taken from Task Force report: “Workforce and economic issues, specifically the impact of accreditation or failure of accreditation on the veterinary professional workforce and the resulting economic impact of increasing or decreasing numbers of veterinarians entering the profession, cannot influence the accreditation evaluation process. Factoring workforce and economic issues into the accreditation decision would quickly erode the high credibility of COE accreditation.” Simply put, if we are going to maintain the integrity and credibility of AVMA COE accreditation, then accreditation decisions need to be based strictly on the quality of the program being evaluated and whether or not it meets the high standards

        The rest of the answer comes from the fact that we are a free market society and we have laws to ensure it stays that way. Applied to this situation, any effort by AVMA (or any other entity that accredits programs such a veterinary colleges) to assert economic controls on the workforce through the accreditation process would be illegal.

        I hope this helps to clarify.

        Ron

        W. Ron DeHaven, DVM
        CEO, AVMA

        • Thanks Ron, but that really didn’t answer what I was asking. I was specifically asking if the AVMA and the COE were seperate entities, as has been stated by the AVMA multiple times. If so, there should be no issue with the AVMA looking out for its members and actually studying the impact of foreign accreditation on the AVMAs members. If not, there still should not be any issue with studying the impact. The act of studying the impact and then releasing said information to your dues paying members, is not only what your job should be, it is the major reason the AVMA has its non-profit status set up the way that it is.

          The second question I asked is how can the AVMA state that their mission is to assist its members, yet you conveniently roll over on this. Shame on you. How can you state that you exist to support your members, yet when a huge issue comes up such as foreign accreditation (an issue that you did not consult with your membership about), you simply state that you cannot study it. That is not entirely true.

          So, to recap. Are the AVMA and COE seperate and independent entities?
          What is the AVMA’s main mission- to support their dues paying members or to turn their back on said members so that you can continue to accredit at will without any risk?

          Greg

          • Dr. DeHaven,

            Could you please give my questions some thought and a candid answer. If not, could you refer me to someone who has the authority to answer these questions. I think our dues paying members have a right to know honest answers to these and many more questions.

            Thank you
            Greg

          • Greg,

            Thank you for clarifying your question. Relative to the relationship between AVMA and the Council on Education (COE), what we have said is that the COE is an entity within AVMA but that it makes all decisions relative to accreditation and re-accreditation of individual schools independent of AVMA leadership or staff. For example, the AVMA Executive Board does not have any say and does not exert any influence on the COE relative to accreditation decisions on individual schools. Further, while the AVMA can comment on the standards that the COE applies in making accreditation decisions, the COE alone is responsible for the content of the standards upon which schools are evaluated.

            The AVMA Executive Board can decide if we are going to be in the accreditation business or not, but as long as we are in the business, the COE makes decisions to accredit (or not) individual schools independently from the Board.

            The charge of the Task Force on Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation was to look at the pro’s and con’s (i.e., the impact) of AVMA COE accreditation of foreign veterinary schools. That is what they did and captured in their report. In the statement you pulled from the TF report (“Once task force members set to work, they quickly realized that evaluating the impact of foreign school accreditation on the veterinary workforce in the U.S. was not part of their charge, in that the COE cannot consider workforce or economic issues when making accreditation decisions.”). the “decisions” being referenced has to do with the decisions on the accreditation of individual schools. And as I explained before, economics and workforce issues cannot be factors when making such decisions. The “decisions” being referenced in this statement are NOT about AVMA’s continued role in the accreditation of foreign veterinary schools.

            In short, the decision that now rests with the AVMA Executive Board, and for which the TF report is focused, is whether or not AVMA should continue to be in the business of accrediting foreign veterinary schools. That decision could be made as early as the June Board meeting, but it could also be delayed pending input from other groups or awaiting additional, yet to be determined, information. At this point, I simply don’t know. I hope this answers your question.

            Finally, I believe your statement relative to AVMA “turn(ing) their back” on our members is simply not fair. The Task Force was made up of members who were knowledgeable about the issue, represented the breadth of diverse and strongly held opinions on the issue, and had expressed an interest in serving in this capacity. Further, we provided you, our membership at large, the opportunity to read the report and provide your thoughts through our multiple communications channels such as this AVMA@Work blog.

            Ron

            W. Ron DeHaven, DVM
            CEO, AVMA


          • Greg,
            “Thank you for clarifying your question. Relative to the relationship between AVMA and the Council on Education (COE), what we have said is that the COE is an entity within AVMA but that it makes all decisions relative to accreditation and re-accreditation of individual schools independent of AVMA leadership or staff. For example, the AVMA Executive Board does not have any say and does not exert any influence on the COE relative to accreditation decisions on individual schools. Further, while the AVMA can comment on the standards that the COE applies in making accreditation decisions, the COE alone is responsible for the content of the standards upon which schools are evaluated.”

            Wouldn’t it be better if there were no interdependency between the two organizations? I mean, how can anyone really know if there is undue influence or not? Why not be above reproach and have a separate entity, so that the AVMA can be more concerned about their membership and less concerned about being known as the world leader in veterinary accreditation?

            “The AVMA Executive Board can decide if we are going to be in the accreditation business or not, but as long as we are in the business, the COE makes decisions to accredit (or not) individual schools independently from the Board.”

            Understood.

            “The charge of the Task Force on Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation was to look at the pro’s and con’s (i.e., the impact) of AVMA COE accreditation of foreign veterinary schools. That is what they did and captured in their report. ”

            I have to disagree here. They took a pass on evaluating what they were charged to do. What is the effect of foreign accreditation on the average dues paying member? No one knows because we didn’t think we could or should look. What does the Texas VMA think about this?

            “In the statement you pulled from the TF report (“Once task force members set to work, they quickly realized that evaluating the impact of foreign school accreditation on the veterinary workforce in the U.S. was not part of their charge, in that the COE cannot consider workforce or economic issues when making accreditation decisions.”). the “decisions” being referenced has to do with the decisions on the accreditation of individual schools.”

            Yes, but they ( you) are using that as an excuse to not study the effect that foreign accreditation has on the average dues paying AVMA member. No where did anyone say anything about the COE. This is a complete and separate task force. A task force should consider any and all effects of said accreditation on its membership.

            “And as I explained before, economics and workforce issues cannot be factors when making such decisions. The “decisions” being referenced in this statement are NOT about AVMA’s continued role in the accreditation of foreign veterinary schools.”

            Again, I am talking about AVMA’s decision to not look into the effects of foreign accreditation on us dues paying members. I am not asking the COE to take that into consideration. Shouldn’t we have access to this information? Shouldn’t the AVMA have studied this before deciding to take any action?

            “In short, the decision that now rests with the AVMA Executive Board, and for which the TF report is focused, is whether or not AVMA should continue to be in the business of accrediting foreign veterinary schools. That decision could be made as early as the June Board meeting, but it could also be delayed pending input from other groups or awaiting additional, yet to be determined, information. At this point, I simply don’t know. I hope this answers your question.”

            “Finally, I believe your statement relative to AVMA “turn(ing) their back” on our members is simply not fair. The Task Force was made up of members who were knowledgeable about the issue, represented the breadth of diverse and strongly held opinions on the issue, and had expressed an interest in serving in this capacity. Further, we provided you, our membership at large, the opportunity to read the report and provide your thoughts through our multiple communications channels such as this AVMA@Work. ”

            Fair or not, this is the perception that I share with many of my colleagues. What is not fair is for me to pay dues to a trade organization ; one that claims to exist to protect my interests, only to take a pass at studying any negative effects that may come of foreign accreditation. Your statement hints of arrogance, like I should feel lucky that I was able to even read or comment about the report at all. The truth is, without dues from your members, your well paying job would cease to exist. I realize that you are only accountable to the executive board, but on a larger picture, this organization appears to be confused as to its mission. I think the entire membership deserves to know where the AVMA’s priorities lie, so that we may decide whether being a member is in our best interest (excluding liability insurance)

            .
            I do thank you for your time, even if I disagree with you.
            Greg

        • I would like to remind the AVMA that it is, in fact, nothing more than a “trade organization” set up by its dues paying members to represent, first and foremost, the best interests of those dues paying members. Any other function undertaken by AVMA is ancillary to it mandate which is (I repeat) to represent the best interests of its dues paying members. No more, no less!!

          It is quite evident that the AVMA has totally disregarded that mandate for decades. Its own commissioned report, the 1978 Arthur D. Little Report, (written 35 years ago!!!) concluded that there would be an oversupply of DVMs in the not too distant future. Yet the AVMA remained silent when new veterinary schools came on the drawing board. It remainded silent when established schools increased class size. And now, without any permission from the dues paying members (or even asking them in the first place) it has decided to accredit foreign school in total disregard for the best interests of …its dues paying members. I dare say the AVMA has become an entity in and for itself. It has taken on a life of its own and has, in fact been working AGAINST the best interests of its dues paying members!

          No explaination that I have read to justify the actions of AVMA over the past years can even pass the laugh test amongst most of the DVMs I know. I would like to ask again for some simple straight answers of why AVMA, with the 1978 Arthur D. Little report in hand, did not speak up against more schools and bigger class sizes. And why AVMA is accrediting foreign schools (adding insult to injury of oversupply) without ever asking the dues paying members about any of this?

  8. In your news article regarding this report you state that “Once task force members set to work, they quickly realized that evaluating the impact of foreign school accreditation on the veterinary workforce in the U.S. was not part of their charge, in that the COE cannot consider workforce or economic issues when making accreditation decisions.

    Doing so could jeopardize the council’s recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as an accreditor of veterinary schools.”

    That is such a crock of crap. The US Department of Education does not care at all about accreditation of foreign schools. That’s because they happen to realize that they are the UNITED STATES dept. of education. Yes, COE needs to be fair and balanced in the accreditation practices for US schools. They need not accredit foreign schools at all. We belong to the AMERICAN veterinary medical association. Have you guys forgotten that? If your role is to advocate for your members, shouldn’t your members be consulted about these globalization efforts? And shouldn’t you be honest about your reasons for pursuing these goals? Loss of recognition by DOE is not a valid reason. So your statements are misleading at best, flat lies at worst.

    • The AVMA and COE have not received any mandate by the AVMA membership to support foreign veterinary school accreditation. I would venture to estimate that less than 5% of the membership support the COE accreditation process involving foreign accreditation. As I have said before in other venues, the COE has a long-standing sense of their own self-importance. I think it’s admirable that a foreign school would like to attain the standards required by the COE (except that it promotes 2 year veterinary schools, making us a trade and not a profession), but that is not a contract that the COE has any need to accredit them. I think the AVMA needs to let other countries and foreign universities take care of themselves. They are fully functional adults and foreign countries have different needs and interests. One of their primary interests it seems to me is to attract US student dollars. This issue is going to tear the AVMA apart just as the AMA has lost most of it’s membership over the last 50 years. Once other insurance options are developed for AVMA members, you are going to see many memebers leave the AVMA. That’s a shame, and the AVMA will have committed ritual suicide by failing to see all of the anger out there in the membership directed at foreign school accreditation.

      • I think the foreign accreditation report fails in its most important mission-To assess the effects of foreign accrediation on the US profession.Dr DeHaven states thet the report addressed the pros and cons on foreign accreditation.Really? Can someone point out any “cons” in the report because I have read the report from cover to cover three times and yet could not find ANY single listed “con” of foerign accreditation.
        The convuluted argument that the taskforce could not consider any financial effects of foriegn accreditation makes absolutley no sense.
        It states clearly in the taskforce report that COE is independent of AVMA.So why cant an AVMA commisioned study talk about foerign accreditation. I would understand that COE cant commisssion a report and COE cant consider the effects of accreditation, but if you say that argument applies to AVMA then you are saying that COE is NOT independent of AVMA.
        If COE is not independent of AVMA, according to AVMAs legal counsel anticompetitive issues should dictate that COE immediately cease foreign accreditation.
        If AVMA truly is a trade organization that has a mission as stated by Dr DeHaven in the 2011 tax return is to “promote and Protect the US veterinarian” then it MUST consider ALL of the effects of foreign accreditation AND if it find there are negative effects of of foreign accreditation AVMA is MANDATED by its own mission to advocate in the interest of the profession.

        The fact that AVMA issued a taskforce AFTER it has already been undetaking foreign accreditation is very telling.
        It seems AVMa has paralysis when it comes to doing anything apart from ordering taskforce studies and yet it rushed headlong into foreign accreditation without ANY study on the potential effects on the profession.

        Now that there are clear negative impacts from foreign accreditation instead of truthfully facing these issues AVMA has decided to double down and ignore the concerns of the profession.

        This could all have been avoided if AVMA had considered the effects of foreign accreditation BEFORE getting into the business of foreign accreditation.Then the membership could have had a vocie in the decision making process and the current conflict of interest could have been avoided.

        The question now is does AVMA have the leadership to admit its mistake and correct it by getting out of the foreign accreditation business.
        If it decided not to then it will be readily apparent that the interests of the membership are no longer the primary mission of AVMa and we should abandon it as our trade association and petition the IRS to have the 501c6 status of AVMA revoked.

        • I agree completely. How can you say you exist to protect and support your members, yet you fail in your duties when it comes to evaluating the effects of your decisions on your members.

          Spin it all you want and mention the COE all you want, it is still failing to meet your obligation to you members.

  9. Do you really feel that a task force hand picked by the same leadership that has unilaterally decided to be the accreditor of all things veterinary related is the proper group to give an unbiased opinion on this?

    I don’t know the people on the task force and I am sure they are all fine members of our profession, but don’t you think something of this nature should be above reproach?

    In reading the study, I can see that one benefit of foreign accreditation that was left out was the ability to attract students funded by US backed loans; that would be a fairly large financial incentive in my opinion and one worth discussing.

    The other thing that I noticed was the nice “punt” of the main issue here…..how does this affect those of us practicing stateside (and paying our dues, I might add)? I realize that economic factors cannot come into play with the accreditation process (although there are millions of dollars of federal loans at stake, as well as money for the avma to “earn” from said accreditation), but nowhere is it stated that the AVMA cannot or should not study the effects of these decisions.

    So, what will the effect of foreign accreditation be on me and my colleagues? On our colleagues still in school? If you cannot answer this , then none of the rest of this matters.

    Where is the member input on this issue? What, you didn’t ask for any?

    And is there any question why many of us in practice question the AVMA’s purpose/mission.

    AT WHAT POINT DID THE AVMA’S MISSION SHIFT FROM REPRESENTING MEMBERS’ INTERESTS TO PRIMARILY REPRESENTING THE AVMA?

    • I almost forgot. THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. Is this what the dues paying members want?

      If the AVMA truly is an organization for its members, they would know the answer to this and stop this nonsense.