Posts from Mark

A Regulatory Road Map for Telehealth & Pet Health Care

Today’s Veterinary Practice

The veterinary profession in the United States decided to take telemedicine seriously in 2016.

The NAVC (navc.com) launched its Veterinary Innovation Council (VIC) a year ago and numerous organizations stepped up to participate in its first project—a telehealth pilot. In April 2017, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (vetmed.tamu.edu) and the NAVC are collaborating to host the Veterinary Innovation Summit, which will include a robust examination of telemedicine and the VIC pilot results.

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Another court opinion scaring folks about the status of pets as property

DVM360 Magazine

Judges’ comments meant to explain why the state of Oregon is hard on animal abusers, not change longheld precedent.

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My last blog analyzed a Georgia Supreme Court opinion about damages for the loss of a pet. Animal health publications and blogs were wringing their hands about the implications of this decision for the longstanding rule of no recovery of non-economic (emotional) damages for the negligent injury or death of a pet.

I spend part of every week defending the veterinary industry from legislative mischief, so I closely read the case to see if it portended the harm that I’d been warned about by colleagues. Fortunately, the Georgia Supreme Court did no such thing and the law against non-economic damages is alive and well in the Peach State.

This week the culprit is the Oregon Supreme Court in State of Oregon vs. Amanda Newcomb.

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I repeat: the Georgia Supreme Court did not change law regarding non-economic damages.

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Court rules unique human-animal bond is beyond legal measure, but pet owners may recover costs of medical care and fair market value.

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Over the past 10 days, much attention has been devoted to a Georgia Supreme Court decision in which a boarding kennel was accused of causing the death of one of its boarders, a dachshund, due to negligence.

Readers should take a deep breath and exhale. The court did not change existing law barring the recovery of emotional or sentimental damages.

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Here’s one political cause veterinarians can support wholeheartedly

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Congressman and veterinarian Kurt Schrader needs your help in his reelection campaign.

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It’s hard to think about any political topic other than the presidential primaries these days. The two-year race for party nominations dominates the political landscape in unprecedented ways: money, media, phone calls, office conversations—however you measure it, it’s off the charts.

But there is something else going on of real concern for veterinarians, so with your indulgence please remove the presidential blinders for a moment and consider this.

The veterinary and animal health industry has no greater champion Congressman Kurt Schrader, DVM, of Oregon. Kurt is a successful veterinarian and embodies the classic idea of a citizen legislator. He was a leader in the Oregon state legislature and now represents a truly bipartisan philosophy in Congress at a time when bipartisanship is in short supply— perhaps even dying.

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After nine innings, debate over veterinary college accreditation is over

DVM360 Magazine

Four resolutions targeting COE defeated by AVMA House of Delegates.

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For nearly four years, a group of critics within the profession has attacked The American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) and its role in accrediting veterinary colleges. Although the critics numbered less than 1 percent of the profession, they managed to place their issues at center stage for veterinary discussions all these years. That changed July 10 in Boston with the actions of the AVMA House of Delegates.

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COE needs to abandon ship on proposed new rules for veterinary faculty

DVM360 Magazine

Shift in focus from preparing graduates to publishing in academic journals is not in the profession’s interest. Plus it’s impossible.

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The American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) will no doubt receive many comments about its proposed changes to the veterinary school accreditation process. I will keep mine to a minimum, focusing on the facuty obligations related to peer-reviewed research. Let me begin by quoting the portion of the proposed new rules to which my comments are directed:

12.10.3 Faculty

The majority of full-time faculty (including those at distributed sites and in the curricular component (professional courses, journal clubs) must be engaged in research that results in peer-reviewed scholarship. A majority of full-time faculty engaged in teaching students must publish (or confirm to have in-press) as senior or co-author at least one peer-reviewed scientific manuscript each year. A majority of full-time faculty must have sought or have acquired research funding each year.

First, the question is where is the impetus for such a radical restructuring of veterinary education in the United States? At a period of high student debt with veterinary employers and the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium demanding more practice-ready graduates, the proposed new rules require that schools instead shift their focus to producing traditional research scholarship for academic journals. I have scoured veterinary-related media from the past five years, and other than the COE’s handful of fiercest critics, no one has called for such a sea change in how students are prepared to deliver healthcare to American pet owners and farmers.

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Pope Francis needs a pet … seriously.

DVM360 Magazine

Comments reveal lack of understanding of the human-animal bond.

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My 92-year-old Irish Catholic mother isn’t going to like this blog. You see, Pope Francis is her main man. But I can’t resist after reading the pope’s astonishing comments about pets and pet ownership in a recent interview.

The pope apparently was shocked when he read about how people spend their money. “After food, clothing and medicine,” he said, “the fourth item is cosmetics and the fifth is pets. That’s serious.”

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