License portability, student debt and globalization: Give us your opinion

Commenting Period Open Make Your Voice HeardShould veterinarians be allowed greater licensure portability to provide our critical services? What can we do to address veterinary student debt? What role should the AVMA play internationally?

We want your input as the AVMA House of Delegates prepares to debate these topics at the upcoming Veterinary Information Forum in Denver on July 12. As an AVMA member, you should have recently received an email from your delegate asking you to provide comments on these topics so that your opinions can help us shape our discussions and actions. The topics are:

  • License Portability: What is the need and what are the possible avenues for veterinarians to move across jurisdictions for temporary relief and disaster response?
  • Student Debt: Think outside the box. What hasn’t been tried?
  • Globalization: We live in a global society. What role should the AVMA play internationally?

The complete list of Veterinary Information Forum topics, as well as  resolutions and bylaws amendments that will be considered by the House of Delegates, are available on the AVMA website.

Your opinions matter to us, and they will guide our discussions. Let your voice be heard, and be part of the conversation. We encourage all AVMA members to contact your delegate to share your thoughts on these issues before the meeting. It’s easy to connect directly with your delegate on avma.org, or you can respond to your delegate from the email that was sent to you.

5 thoughts on “License portability, student debt and globalization: Give us your opinion

  1. Thinking of semi-retirement and still wanting to practice part time, I’d welcome universal licensing. Some sort of reciprocity if you have a valid license in good standing would benefit the profession and the pet population we serve.

  2. Propose that student loan interest be tax deductible, without a phase-out at higher incomes. Although veterinarians can make a higher than average income, many of us have staggering student loan payments from loans that were necessary for us to obtain that income.

  3. Financial Counselors:
    How many vet schools have financial counselors in house to work with the students to learn about their loans, when interest starts accruing, and the different types of loan payment programs? How many vet schools have programs that help students learn to live like students (i.e., have roommates), cook and freeze meals ahead of time, possibly even purchasing a home while they’re in vet school that they can either continue renting or turn over when they graduate? Do they have counselors who can look at contracts and help veterinarians to know when they’re getting take advantage of by a cumbersome non-compete agreement? How many schools require business classes during undergraduate, such as accounting and marketing? How many schools educate their veterinarians on buying a practice? It’s really never too early to start thinking about that.

  4. Public Service Loan Forgiveness:
    The types of student loans that are eligible for forgiveness needs to be looked at. There are plenty of veterinarians working at state schools, for city government, and for the federal government. However, the PSLF program only recognizes certain types of loans. These loans were introduced after many of us graduated from vet school and were ‘comfortable’ (being relative) with what we were paying. For many of us to refinance to the new terms would triple the loan payments and it would also be paid off in 10 years, which is the length of the program. That seems hugely unfair. These are Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. Get the government to RETROACTIVELY look at making these loan programs eligible for forgiveness.

  5. Regarding student debt:
    Look at what medical schools in each state is charging. When there are medical schools that charge less than the vet schools, it needs to be brought to the attention of the state legislatures that it is unfair to subsidize physician education on the backs of veterinary education. It does exist; Texas Tech Health Science Center in El Paso only charge 15K a year for in state and out. That is hugely unfair to the vet students at Texas A & M, especially when physicians typically make twice as much as your average veterinarian when they get out, and there are so many fewer student loan forgiveness programs for veterinarians than physicians. They talk about how important One Health is…they need to put their money where their mouth is.

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