The practice act gets an upgrade

The practice act gets an upgrade

Many of us change haircuts and wardrobes at least once a decade, but yet somehow the Veterinary Practice Act endures through spandex and pleated slacks. Why? That was the question members of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine and the GVMA asked themselves, and in light of the fact that their two national parent associations (AAVSB and AVMA) had both recently created their own Model Veterinary Practice Acts, perhaps it was time to give the Georgia Veterinary Practice Act its first true upgrade since 2003.

The Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine spearheaded a committee of volunteers from the veterinary profession and industry to review the current practice act and make recommendations for improvements. The committee has met on four separate occasions to review each section, line and word that constitutes the practice act. As these are the laws that govern the profession and the practice of veterinary medicine, much consideration was given to each section, examining each sentence and scrutinizing each word.

The Model Practice Act from the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) had the feedback of more than 60 licensing boards in North America. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) spent more than 2 years with feedback from every state in the nation, to create its Model Practice Act. These two documents were instrumental in helping guide the changes to the Georgia Act.

Changes to the practice act are now headed to the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine for review. Once that board has given its approval, the proposed changes to the practice act will be posted for public review and comment. The GVMA will help disseminate the changes to members, and to seek the feedback from stakeholders such as the Georgia Veterinary Technicians and Assistants Association, the Georgia Veterinary Managers Association and groups like the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and the Georgia Poultry Federation. Veterinary medicine touches all corners of the state and impacts all Georgians, so creating a document that helps veterinarians without impeding other areas is a paramount goal.

The State Board will review and implement public comments and the GVMA will work with its lobbyist to obtain feedback from lawmakers and secure sponsors for a bill that will be introduced to the 2018 session of the Georgia General Assembly. As a bill, the language of the practice act will be posted for public review and anyone will have the opportunity to make changes. The GVMA Advocacy Committee and the GVMA lobbyists – Fiveash Stanley, LLC. will be monitoring the bill closely throughout the session.

Please direct any questions or comments about the practice act review to GVMA Associate Director Scott Piper at or 678-309-3272 (direct).