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Reference Desk June 2011

AVMA releases draft revision of Model Practice Act

    Schaumburg, IL, June 16, 2011—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has moved closer to a final version of a document that will shape the future of veterinary medicine—the Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA).

    The last significant revision of the MVPA took place in 2003. The proposed changes to the MVPA are posted on the AVMA website.

    "The AVMA adopted its first Model Veterinary Practice Act in 1963, and since then it's provided important guidance on the profession and how it's regulated," says Dr. John Scamahorn, chair of the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act Task Force. "The Model Veterinary Practice Act is used by state legislatures and state veterinary licensing and exam boards to help shape the rules and laws that govern veterinary medicine."

    The AVMA solicited comments from both veterinarians and the public on the revisions to the MVPA months ago and received over 1,000 comments. After considering the comments, the task force drafted a revised MVPA which reflected these comments and additional input from the task force. As an additional step, the task force is now soliciting input from AVMA committees and councils. A final version will be submitted to the AVMA Executive Board for approval later this year.

    "The AVMA collected as much input from veterinarians, other organizations and the general public as possible so that this document really reflects the profession as it is today and should be in the future," explained Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "We received tremendous input from many interested people and organizations, and the task force has done a thoughtful job of developing this draft."

    The task force's draft changes to the MVPA include:

    • revisions that recognize credentialing of veterinary technicians and technologists;
    • clarification of the definitions of "direct supervision" and "indirect supervision;"
    • a revision of the definition of "veterinarian-client-patient relationship" that requires a veterinarian to maintain medical records on patients and that allows the veterinarian to arrange for continuing care of the patient by another veterinarian who has access to those records;
    • a new exemption that allows a veterinarian from one state to practice in another state following a declaration of emergency;
    • a new exemption that allows a person working under the supervision of a veterinarian to provide certain medical care in an animal shelter;
    • revisions that allow a veterinarian to disclose client and patient information to a third-party service provider, such as a company that sends vaccination reminders, as long as a confidentiality agreement is in place.

    For more information, please visit www.avma.org or http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/mvpa.asp. To view the revisions to the MVPA, please visit http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/mvpa_draft_for_entities.pdf.

    The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 81,500 member veterinarians worldwide are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. The year 2011 is being celebrated by veterinarians around the world as Vet2011, the 205th anniversary of the birth of veterinary medicine and education.

    Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

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