Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine receives accreditation renewal for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program
Every seven years, colleges of veterinary medicine that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education undergo a thorough review of their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) programs.
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine accreditation site visit was Oct. 24-28, and the college recently recieved the results of that review. The council granted the veterinary college an classification of "accredited" for up to seven years, which indicates that the college meets all requirements of the 11 accreditation standards.
In its review, the council acknowledged that certain facilities require improvement to maintain and advance delivery of the quality DVM program for which the college has become known.
Going forward, the college must provide specific reporting on:
- Progress of the design, funding, and construction of the proposed expansion of the Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
- Progress of construction of the indoor arena at the Equine Medical Center.
- Progress of the laboratory renovation and casework replacement in the isolation facility at the Equine Medical Center.
The council's inspection and report validate the veterinary college's current strategic plan, which emphasizes these facilities as critical priorities. The Equine Medical Center indoor arena project is expected to break ground in August. The funding campaign for the veterinary teaching hospital renovation and expansion campaign, "Expanding Opportunities," launched in March.
"The council's assessment of our current achievements and the opportunity to provide targeted annual reports concerning future progress in alignment with our college's strategic plan provides validation of our past efforts, current status, and future plans," said M. Daniel Givens, dean of the college.
The veterinary college has made multiple investments to expand and update clinical and educational facilities, including the addition of the Animal Cancer Care and Research Center in Roanoke. Further expansion and space renovation for small animal services in the veterinary teaching hospital in Blacksburg will further optimize student learning, patient care, and client interactions.
The teaching hospital is not only a state-of-the-art clinical facility, but is also a regional premier teaching facility producing compassionate and skilled veterinarians each year. Because the current small animal hospital was completed in 1987, it has seen incredible growth in cases due to the increased demands for veterinary services across the region. The DVM class size has grown from 64 to 126, and eight new specialty services have been added along with the associated cutting-edge technology and equipment.
The teaching model in academic hospitals in human and veterinary medicine involves small groups of students immersed in a specialty for weeks. This model of experiential learning creates the need for physical space, in addition to a patient treatment area and appropriate equipment for each specialty. Due to the teaching hospital's exponential growth over the last 40-plus years, current facilities and staffing create challenges to the care provided to small animals and the experiential education of veterinary students. Completing this planned expansion and renovation will allow the veterinary college to continue at the forefront of veterinary care.
"Achievement of our ongoing accreditation status with the COE [American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education] is a result of our faculty and staff's hard work and dedication, not just in preparation for our most recent site visit but over the entire seven years of the accreditation cycle. Their commitment to ensuring our DVM students have received and will continue to receive a world-class veterinary education is inspiring," said Jennifer L. Hodgson, associate dean of professional programs at the college.
All institutions offering educational programs leading to a DVM or equivalent degree that is readily recognized through licensure to practice in the U.S. must be individually accredited.
As the recognized accrediting body for veterinary medicine in North America, the council considers the interests of the veterinary profession and society at large in the review of programs. The objective is to ensure that each graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine will be firmly based on the fundamental principles, scientific knowledge, and physical and mental skills of veterinary medicine. Graduates should be able to apply these fundamentals to solving veterinary medical problems for different species and types of domestic animals.
The fundamentals with which each graduate leaves the college are expected to provide a basis for various career activities, including clinical patient care, research and other non-clinical options relevant to animal and human health. These fundamentals are the basis for a lifetime of learning and professional development.
"My sincere thanks to all from the college who were involved in preparing for and supporting this college's review by the COE. The outcome of the review provides a clear affirmation of our recent and ongoing work. It also provides clear direction for our future focus on the addition and renovation of our small animal teaching hospital," said Givens.