The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) has received a full seven-year reaccreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education, which represents the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education.
Accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process. It represents the school’s ongoing commitment to excellent veterinary medical education on all fronts.
“Accreditation of a veterinary program means the curriculum and adjacent activities have been evaluated and judged to meet quality standards for the veterinary profession,” explains Peggy Schmidt, associate dean for professional programs.
The school began preparing for the process’s culminating site visit in January over a year in advance, outlining how the SVM meets each of the 11 standards of accreditation established by AVMA. These standards include guidance on admissions, DVM curriculum, research programs and clinical instruction.
During the five-day site visit in January, members of the AVMA Council on Education evaluated the school’s classrooms and laboratory spaces, the clinical spaces housed within the school’s teaching hospital, UW Veterinary Care, and several off-site locations, including the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) and Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education and Social Services (WisCARES) clinic.
The council noted the strength of several SVM programs, including the WisCARES clinical rotation for fourth-year students; the Shelter Medicine program, which allows students to work side by side with veterinarians at DCHS to examine and treat shelter animals; and the Summer Scholars program, which provides students the opportunity to conduct research in tandem with their DVM degree.
Accreditation represents a commitment to high-quality veterinary medical education and a dedication to continual improvement. Graduates of accredited veterinary medical programs are aptly-prepared to enter the workforce, assuring employers and the public that they will perform the highest standard of care as veterinary professionals.
Another benefit to graduates of accredited programs, Schmidt explains, is they can sit for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (a requirement to practice veterinary medicine in all states or provinces in the U.S. and Canada) without further certification or training.
The UW School of Veterinary Medicine has received full accreditation status at each evaluation period since 1988, the first year the school was eligible for accreditation.