NAVMEC is Working 2

The future of veterinary medicine garnered heightened attention recently with the release in May of the Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine report from the National Research Council (NRC).

Many of the study's suggestions align strongly with the recommendations found in the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium's (NAVMEC's) Roadmap for Veterinary Medical Education in the 21st Century: Responsive, Collaborative, Flexible, released in 2011.

Both the NRC report and the NAVMEC report call for more resource sharing, greater use of technology, the development of centers of emphasis or excellence, a focus on One Health, and the development of graduates with a broader range of skills and competencies.

Here is the latest NAVMEC is Working report from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), where we continue to monitor developments in academic veterinary medicine that align with NAVMEC's recommendations. Learn more about  initiatives and coalitions that are emerging in ways that seem spontaneous, but that adhere in striking ways to the recommendations contained in the report.   

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One Health Approach at Mississippi State Helps to Move Advances From the Lab to the Patient
Mississippi State CVM
Drs. Cyprianna Swiderski (left) and Elizabeth Carothers perform lung function testing on Max, who suffers from an asthma-like condition. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson) 

At Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, basic science researchers are working together with veterinary clinicians to investigate common diseases, processes, and functions.

The goal?  To reduce the time it takes to move scientific advances from the laboratory to the patient, improving  the lives of both animals and people.

This One Health, NAVMEC-approved approach to curing the diseases that humans and animals share is gaining traction and is also penetrating the public conciousness through the recent release of Zoobiquity, a book that was also featured recently in the New York Times.
Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goal:  Stimulate a profession-wide focus on innovation, flexibility and action.  
Aligns with recommendation:   6.2.4 Incorporate concepts of One Health into the veterinary medical curriculum.

Breakthrough Treatment for Brain Tumors

Dogs and people are affected by the same types of devastating brain tumors, spurring hope that a new therapy that helps dogs will also help people.

The Neurology/Neurosurgery service at the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Veterinary Medicine is currently collaborating with the Winship Institute at Emory University in Atlanta to evaluate the treatment's effectiveness, in a study funded by the Boo Radley Foundation, which is dedicated to the support of clinical trials advancing the treatment of brain tumors in dogs and people.

The new treatment involves slowly infusing a chemotherapy drug, proven to be safe, into the brain tumor using breakthrough technology called "convection enhanced delivery," or CED.

The UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital is encouraging those who have canine patients with brain disease to contact the hospital for an MRI-based workup.

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Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goal:  Stimulate a profession-wide focus on innovation, flexibility and action.  
Aligns with recommendation:   6.2.4 Incorporate concepts of One Health into the veterinary medical curriculum.    

Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Students Take an Interactive Approach to Developing Multispecies Expertise

Texas A&M's approach to clinical education for veterinary medical students isn't new  -- in fact, the basic structure has been in place for about 40 years -- but it fits perfectly into NAVMEC's explicit goal of having students develop multi-species expertise and  serves as a model of how to implement NAVMEC's aim and principles.

The university partners with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to provide "hands-on" primary veterinary medical care to the department's multi-species animal populations, which include horses, cows, and swine."This unique relationship allows students the opportunity to build their veterinary medical skills and confidence," says Eleanor Green, dean of the college of veterinary medicine. "The clinical care and medical health management procedures employed in each animal population at TDCJ reinforces the educational process and principles that students have accumulated during their education." 

An average 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio allows for a very personal and interactive educational experience and three dedicated veterinarians provide approximately 5,000 veterinary student contact hours annually, with additional contact hours provided by other faculty from the Texas A&M University Large Animal Hospital.  

Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goal:  Graduate career-ready veterinarians who are proficient in and have the confidence to use an agreed-upon set of core competencies (Multispecies knowledge plus clinical competency in one or more species or disciplines.) 
Aligns with recommendation:   6.1.2 Use NAVMEC core competencies to guide curricula.

A Worldwide, Online Forum Aims to Focus on Animal Science and Food Safety Research

An open access forum that encourages researchers to collaborate and share the results from their research in the fields of animal science and food safety is going global. was launched in 2008 and the forum's developer, Daral J. Jackwood, director of The Center for Diagnostic Assays at The Ohio State University and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, OH, is now opening up the forum to worldwide participation. is more than just an email listserv,  Jackwood said. " provides an opportunity to create a database of diagnostic information that is searchable and available to everyone. Participating researchers will stay better informed about animal health issues and new diagnostic assays. They can also exchange ideas on how to more effectively and efficiently conduct diagnostic assays by interacting with colleagues on diagnostic issues related to food safety."

The worldwide approach will help facilitate the exchange of ideas on how to stay better informed about new and emerging diseases -- an approach designed to improve food safety by enhancing animal health. To that end, the forum invites participation by diagnostic professionals from around the world.

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Aligns with NAVMEC strategic goal:  Stimulate a profession-wide focus on innovation, flexibility, and action. 
Aligns with recommendation:   6.3.2 .. facilitate the development and maintainance of an inventory of shareable educational resources.  

Share Your Examples

If you have examples of ways that your school or college is fulfilling NAVMEC's vision, we'd love to hear about them.  Please email and let us know.

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