Veterinary Specialist Coalition Update

Aug 22, 2023, 00:00 AM by The ACVIM

In early 2022, a group of leaders representing several specialty veterinary colleges (see sidebar), including leaders from the ACVIM, began a series of conversations designed to identify and explore issues that transcended any one specialty. Driving these conversations was the recognition that veterinary medicine is undergoing transformational change, and the collective wisdom and influence of college leaders would help ensure the long-term sustainability of the role specialty medicine plays in the care of animals and in contribution to overall societal wellbeing.

Late last year, representatives from these veterinary specialty colleges were joined by representatives from veterinary associations, corporate practice groups, independent practitioners and industry representatives at an invitational meeting about the critical shortage of veterinary specialists. A summary of that work, which was shared with the ACVIM members in the April Diplomate Digest, defined priority areas and activities for collective action. Among these recommendations is a goal to collectively define veterinary specialist competencies, which we hope to begin working on in 2024.

Since that time, this informal coalition of specialty colleges and other stakeholder groups has expanded to include nearly 15 organizations,  whose representatives meet virtually each month to discuss topics ranging from best practices in residency training to shared promotion of the role of specialists in animal care.  Most recently, members of this group have jointly called on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to convene a dialogue on the feasibility and impact of creating a third-party accreditation body for veterinary residency training programs.

The ACVIM will continue to work with our fellow specialty colleges in this coalition, as well as with the Veterinary Specialty Organizations Committee (VSOC ) of the AVMA, to advance our collective goals and ensure specialty medicine has a voice in issues that affect the future of our profession.

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