April 22, 2011
AVMA terminates online CE venture
AVMA Ed to close by Dec. 31
By: Jennifer Fiala
For The VIN News Service
By the year’s end, AVMA Ed will be no more.
The American Veterinary Medical
Association’s (AVMA) leadership has decided to terminate its
online continuing education site three years after launching it. The
reason? Members did not use it enough to justify the staff resources
dedicated to it.
Officials did not reveal how many
veterinarians have used AVMA Ed or the costs tied to running the
The program was unveiled in late 2008, boasting 60 online courses developed with material recorded
during the AVMA’s annual convention. AVMA Ed was marketed as the “most
convenient, affordable and efficient” distance learning program
available to DVMs.
The first hint that AVMA Ed failed to take
off as expected occurred a year later, when the program was billed as
“new and improved.” What changes were made are unclear, though the site
now features more courses in 31 medical practice categories.
it appears that the improvements were not enough of a draw. “The program was offered, not
utilized enough and proved to be an inefficient use of AVMA resources,” says Dr. John de Jong, AVMA Executive Board member.
Jong says it’s a mystery to him why the nation’s largest association
for veterinarians — boasting 81,000-plus members — did not attract more
users to its online CE courses. Eighty-three percent of all U.S.
veterinarians are AVMA members.
AVMA staff did not detail why
the program did not take off, though state regulations could have been
The road for online CE is not paved in the United
States the same way it is in Australia and European countries, where
distance learning is proliferating. The growth of such programs —
intended to reach a nationwide audience — often are hampered by the
hodgepodge of CE regulations laid out by veterinary licensing boards in
each of America’s 50 states.
The variety of rules can make it
tough for veterinarians — and CE providers — to know what’s accepted by
state licensing boards for license renewal. At extreme ends of the
spectrum, a few states do not require CE for re-licensure while others
accept very few hours of online education.
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