Veterinary Education - Joint American Veterinary Medical Association, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Statement

Oct 28, 2014

At the time of graduation, veterinarians must have the basic scientific knowledge, skills, and values to be a full member of the veterinary profession, and to perform—in an independent and responsible way—appropriate entry-level tasks and duties conferred upon and taken on by the veterinary profession, in the interest of animal health, animal welfare, public health, and societal needs. 

Veterinary education must ensure new graduates have sufficient day-one competency in the following areas:

  1. Adequate knowledge of the sciences on which the activities of the veterinarian are based.
  2. Adequate knowledge of the causes, nature, course, effects, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases of animals, whether considered individually or in groups, including knowledge of the diseases which may be transmitted to humans.
  3. Adequate clinical experience to diagnose, treat, and prevent mental or physical disease, injury, pain, or defect in an animal, or to determine the health and welfare status of an animal or group of animals, particularly its physiological status, including the prescription of veterinary medicines.
  4. Adequate knowledge of the structure and functions of healthy animals, of their husbandry, reproduction and hygiene in general, as well as their feeding, including the technology involved in the manufacture and preservation of foods corresponding to their needs.
  5. Adequate knowledge of the behavior and protection of animals.
  6. Adequate knowledge of preventive medicine.
  7. Adequate knowledge of food hygiene and technology involved in the production, manufacture, and distribution of animal products intended for human consumption.
  8. Adequate knowledge of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the subjects listed above.
  9. Ability to communicate with clients, colleagues, and staff effectively. 
  10. Ability to work within the diverse disciplines that comprise veterinary medicine in accordance with appropriate professional codes of ethics and conduct
  11. Adequate knowledge of veterinary business operations, resource management, personnel management, and finances. 
  12. Adequate knowledge of the role of research in furthering the practice of veterinary medicine and the need for life-long learning to ensure currency of knowledge and skills.

The accreditation of veterinary education is essential to ensure educational programs meet high standards and strive for continuous quality improvement. Accreditation is best accomplished through a process of peer review that is independent, objective, and impartial. The standards of accreditation must be dynamic and consistently applied to ensure they meet the changing needs of society.

(Approved by the AVMA Board of Directors, 23 August, 2011; FVE Board of Directors, 30 August, 2011; & CVMA Council 20 May, 2014)