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.


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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