NAVMEC is Working

NAVMEC is Working

There’s no denying the hard work that went into planning for the future of veterinary medical education through the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC) and the release of the Roadmap for Veterinary Medical Education in the 21st Century: Responsive, Collaborative, Flexible. After all of the in-depth thinking, discussing, tweaking, editing, and final production of the Roadmap, there was one consistent refrain: don’t let it all go to waste.

AAVMC is pleased to provide an update on the report, and the consensus is that NAVMEC’s work is already reaping benefits. Initiatives and coalitions are emerging in ways that seem spontaneous, but that adhere in striking ways to the recommendations contained in the report.

Is NAVMEC responsible for these initiatives or did the consortium simply capture and express trends that were already under way? The answer is probably a combination of both, but there’s little doubt that NAVMEC strengthened the focus and got people thinking in ways that resulted in plans and actions that are already taking place.

Get the latest NAVMEC is working news in this ebulletin.

Plus, here are just a few more examples of developments that align with some of NAVMEC's 23 recommendations. We will continue to update you with some of the most prominent developments as NAVMEC's influence and momentum builds.

Veterinary Medical Economics Takes Center Stage, Students Stand to Benefit from Expanded Economic Educational Opportunities

AAVMC and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have joined forces to address mutual concerns about the economic future of veterinary medicine through regular economic summits that address issues such as student debt, promoting veterinary visits, and generating financial support by building awareness of the important work veterinarians perform.

Initiatives include:
  • Advocacy and media efforts that are reaping benefits to increase the number of loan repayment options available to veterinary medical students, as well as to increase awareness of the need to financially support academic veterinary medicine in general. This includes the progression of legislation that provides incentives for veterinarians to work in rural areas (the Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program) and H.R. 525, the Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act, which includes veterinary medical students in the definition of those who are eligible to participate in a public health loan repayment program and institutional grants to increase the number of individuals in the public health workforce.

  • A group of veterinary associations (including the AAVMC), academia, and industry leaders have established the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare, an organization seeking to collaborate with the veterinary profession in improving the health of our nation’s pets by working together to ensure that pets receive the preventive healthcare they deserve through regular veterinary visits.

  • Promoting the important work that veterinarians perform in a variety of roles through press releases and promotional postings that stress how veterinarians participate in ground-breaking research, work to control emerging zoonotic diseases, and help to protect our nation's health and safety, among other roles. This includes posting promotional images in New York's Times Square that feature veterinarians who engage in research, work with our nation's military dogs, and "help to keep people healthy, too."

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have indicated that veterinarians will specifically be included along with other health professions as qualified for NIH loan repayment programs through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goals:
Goal 4: Promote an economically viable education system for both CVMs and veterinary students.

Aligns with recommendation:
6.4.1: with AVMA and other stakeholders to identify effective ways to promote the value of veterinary medicine to human, animal and environment health and to policymakers, community leaders, and society in general.

Groundbreaking Partnership between Academia and Industry Aims to Provide an Unparalleled Online Learning Experience to Help Meet the Needs of an Evolving Veterinary Profession

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences announced a groundbreaking partnership with Pfizer Animal Health to offer veterinarians convenient, web-based educational products using the latest advances in educational technologies. This unique partnership between academia and industry will deliver the Universities’ expertise in medicine and teaching, supported by Pfizer Animal Health’s information delivery and customer service know-how.

According to a Pfizer press release dated Feb. 20, 2012, the partnership between Cornell, Texas A&M, and Pfizer Animal Health will seek to transform the learning process, providing practitioners with unique opportunities to stay current with the latest discoveries in veterinary medicine, hone in their clinical skills, incorporate current medical advances into decisions that affect patient care, and build more profitable practices.

“It is not very often in one’s academic lifetime that an opportunity arises which, if pursued, allows substantial change in our profession. I believe this partnership is just one of those opportunities,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “In the truest sense of collaboration, two colleges of veterinary medicine and Pfizer Animal Health are developing a unique public-private partnership that will revolutionize education and learning. A distinguishing factor that will set this educational content apart is that the academic partners are providing not only subject matter expertise and peer review, but also pedagogical expertise, which will result in transformative learning experiences. The excitement in the air on the Texas A&M campus is palpable and we are looking forward not only to working with Cornell University, but also to including content experts from other veterinary institutions.”

“Ultimately, the goal is to support and bolster veterinarians in their pursuit of excellence and improve the quality of animal care,” said Dr. Michael I. Kotlikoff, Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. “This state-of-the-art learning environment will encourage innovation and flexibility in the profession, while meeting the needs of all those involved by aligning the abilities of the veterinarian with their clients’ and patients’ needs and responding to an identified need among practice owners to maintain their skills, improve their approach to practice management, and continually develop their professional knowledge.”

Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goals:
Goal 3: Share resources to ensure veterinary medical education is of the highest quality and maximally cost-effective
Goal 5: Stimulate a profession-wide focus on innovation, flexibility and action.

Aligns with recommendations:
6.3.3: Facilitate the establishment of an inter-CVM education technology network
6.2.3: Incorporate contemporary teaching techniques
6.3.3: Seek financial support to implement NAVMEC recommendations

New Goal-Setting Initiatives, Stakeholder Input Reaffirm NAVMEC's Goals

On July 22 - 23, 2011, The Ohio State University hosted a Focus-Forward Weekend on The Financial Future of Veterinary Medicine in recognition of the fact that the veterinary medical profession is on the doorstep of a new era of profound change. The weekend focused on financial issues and looked at:
  • Building new business models for veterinary education and the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Improving business success for private practices
  • Addressing student debt and marketability of new graduates
  • Creating new economic opportunity by driving demand
The conference brought together 165 individuals representing faculty, staff, students, industry, private practitioners, clients, donors, and government. "Our goals for the conference were to generate ideas on how to address these issues, identify action steps the college can take to be successful in each area, and help link these recommendations with a new college vision and strategic plan," said Dr. Lonnie King, dean of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Many of the ideas generated align with the goals or competencies outlined in NAVMEC's Roadmap. For example:
  • A session on Building New Business Models for Veterinary Education and the College of Veterinary Medicine generated recommendations to share teaching resources, initiate best management practices, and differentiate CVMs to focus on different areas.
  • A session on Improving Business Success for Private Practice generated recommendations to institute a college-owned community practice and put more of an emphasis on business practice and communication training, which are recommendations that align with goals and competencies outlined in the NAVMEC report.
  • A session on Creating New Economic Opportunities generated recommendations to foster partnerships to build and fund programs, re-tool veterinarians post-graduation, and increase leadership, political, government and fundraising skills.
Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goals:
Goal 4: Promote an economically viable education system for both CVMs and veterinary students
Goal 1: Graduate career-ready veterinarians who are proficient in and have the confidence to use an agreed-upon set of competencies

Aligns with recommendations:
6.4.5: Convene employers-educators workshop on student debt
6.4.4: Schools provide financial counseling
6.1.2: Use NAVMEC core competencies to guide curricula (recommended competencies include communication and business skills)

Working Together - Universities Form Consortium to Share Ideas and Resources

Five universities with colleges of veterinary medicine have joined together to form a consortium designed to create more opportunities for students, faculty and professionals in the field.

According to an Oregon State University press release dated Jan. 25, 2012, the Consortium of Western Regional Colleges of Veterinary Medicine is a regional “think tank” committed to strategic planning, action and collaboration, according to Cyril Clarke, dean of the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “The concept behind the creation of this consortium is to identify areas of potential collaboration and to share ideas and resources in support of educating veterinarians who are well-prepared to enter practice,” Clarke said. “In light of the budgetary challenges facing our state, it is essential we work with colleagues of other veterinary colleges in our region to provide students access to educational opportunities relevant to a wide range of veterinary careers."

Joining OSU in the consortium are Colorado State University, the University of California at Davis, Washington State University, and Western University of Health Sciences.

One of the first initiatives consortium members will pursue, Clarke says, is faculty development. The universities plan to create a regional teaching academy that would offer advanced instruction for faculty on the latest innovations and research in veterinary medicine.

Other topics and issues the consortium will address include:
  • Removing the gaps between societal needs and selected career tracks among veterinarians
  • Recruitment of veterinary students and professional readiness of graduating veterinarians
  • Learning and application of “soft skills,” such as communication and veterinarian-client interactions
  • Creating rich and innovative learning environments for students.
“Veterinary medicine is a constantly evolving field, with new technologies and challenges,” Clarke said. “Collaborating with colleagues on issues of mutual interest will make all of us better prepared to educate our students and serve the veterinary profession.”

Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goals:
Goal 3: Share resources to ensure veterinary medical education is of the highest quality and maximally cost effective.

Aligns with recommendation:
6.3.2: Facilitate the development and maintenance of an inventory of sharable resources

Do you have other questions about NAVMEC? Be sure and check out NAVMEC: Just the Facts.