This time around, the same type of accusations surfaced. Brigadier General Timothy Adams, a veterinarian and delegate representing Uniformed Services of the United States, called Resolution 5 “exclusionary” and “phobic.”
Dr. Katherine Knutson, a delegate representing the American Animal Hospital Association, concurred: “We’re using this resolution as a way to deal with the fact that many of us believe that there are too many veterinarians in the United States, that there’s an oversupply of them and perhaps one of the ways to get rid of that would be to have everyone take some sort of test."
Dr. William DeWitt, a delegate representing Alabama, responded: “We’re producing enough veterinarians here, more than we probably need. This push to accredit foreign schools is going to bring more veterinarians in. It is going to bring down the compensation for veterinarians. Yes they will be competing with us. That being an aside, they’re still my colleagues.”
Amid vocal opposition to the resolution, a watershed moment came with a speech from Dr. Orlando Garza, TVMA president. Though Garza is not a House member, he spoke to delegates about concerns he hears from practitioners in his area.
“What effect will foreign school accreditation have on AVMA members, I don’t know,” he said. “But I think it’s way too important of an issue to sweep under the carpet. The AVMA has too many workers in the field to ignore this.”
On the House floor, Montana delegate Dr. John Beug reiterated the grassroots impetus for the resolution and made light of any notion that it might be exclusionary in its intent.
"We're just asking that a task force be made to look at the process and see how it impacts us in the United States," he said. "I'm not worried about a foreign veterinary student taking my job. I'm getting ready to retire anyway."
In related news on accreditation, AVMA Executive Board Chair Dr. John Brooks stood before the House and in a call for “fiscal responsibility,” suggested that the delegation dismantle Resolution 6
— a proposal to create a task force to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the association’s involvement in global affairs — in favor of asking AVMA staff to come up with a report on the topic.
The resolution was proposed by California and Arizona veterinary medical associations and essentially expanded the foreign accreditation review mapped by Resolution 5 to include all global activities. Supporters of the Resolution 6 noted that the task force easily could be the same one assigned to explore Resolution 5, which would lessen and possibly even negate its $25,000 price tag.
Resolution 6, however, ultimately failed.
Shortly after Brooks’ call to exercise fiscal restraint, the Executive Board presented their own resolution
— this one reviewing how the association’s governance structure operates — for $45,000. The measure passed.