Friday, March 6, 2009

Holistic vets: a threatened species

So considering the post yesterday suggesting why a holistic veterinarian might have a better understanding of holistic choices for sick pets.....

Would you believe that the single 'accreditation' body for veterinary continuing education (CE) has just tightened the rules on signing off on CE related to complementary/integrative/alternative/holistic medicine? In this day and age when more human medical centers are opening integrative medicine programs?

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards maintains a registry of approved continuing education (RACE). From their website: "RACE is a national clearinghouse for the approval of continuing education providers and their programs. All RACE-approved providers and programs are listed on this website. Providers voluntarily apply to the RACE program and agree to abide by the RACE Standards."

"An important aspect of RACE-approved continuing education is that it meets the definition outlined in the RACE Standards: “Continuing education ...shall build on or refresh the participant in the standards for practice and courses as found in the curriculum of accredited colleges or schools of veterinary medicine or accredited veterinary technician programs.”

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as "a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine."

This pretty much means that any RACE approved CE is automatically going to be accepted by a veterinarian's state veterinary board as approved CE. And a CE program that is not approved -well, the veterinarian may have to fight this state government entity to ensure that it's acceptable as required CE. And since CAM (or CAVM, for veterinary medicine) is not considered conventional medicine and therefore not taught in accredited colleges or schools of veterinary medicine.....well, you can see where this is going.

And considering the economy, veterinarians will have to choose wisely how they spend their limited continuing education funds.

So if you want intelligent discussion of holistic options by a veterinary-educated professional, it may be time to get over it. RACE and the AAVSB are going to 'disappear us' right out from under the public's collective noses. What do you think of that?

1 comment:

  1. Very scary but true that some forces seem well positioned to make Alt/Comp veterinary medicine go away. I wonder what other parts of veterinary medicine they will decide to abandon. This is a hidden tax on freedom to learn and freedom to offer the best options to the pet owning public. I believe the boards were created to protect the public. Apparently this another example of political or economic pressures erecting barriers to competition.