Friday, December 12, 2014

Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group Announced at 2014 AAEP Convention, Will Pursue Board Specialization Status

At the 60th Annual Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), held December 5 to 9, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group, Inc. publicly announced its existence and intended mission.

Formed by four interested veterinarians who met at the 2013 AAEP Convention in Nashville, VEPG is now a group of 32 veterinarians who are interested in the equine foot.

According to VEPG chairman Mark Silverman, MS, DVM of Sport Horse Veterinary Practice in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the group exists for the express purpose of setting a standard for the qualifications and role of a veterinary equine podiatrist.

Silverman defined an equine podiatrist as “A veterinarian having special training and expertise in matters pertaining to the equine foot”.

The long-term goal of the group is to establish what is known as a veterinary board certification, another name for an officially recognized professional specialty within medicine. To that end, a letter of intent was sent from the VEPG this fall to the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Chairman Mark Silverman, MS, DVM
Should the ABVS accept the group's intent as valid, a long process would begin to satisfy many requirements, including establishing an examination process and standardized process for those who wish to complete the recommended course of study and/or residency requirements. The setup process could take years. Both knowledge and skill bases would need to be created, where none now exist.

Currently, 22 specialties within veterinary medicine exist.

Silverman and others within the VEPG made it clear that the group does not plan to have a political or advocacy role in either the farrier or veterinary professions. The founding members are a diverse group of veterinary professionals ranging from academia and research to private practice and includes senior individuals with many decades of experience as well as very young practitioners.

The VEPG is a US-based effort and will be limited to work with the AVMA. VEPG is incorporated in the state of Virginia and will meet annually at the AAEP Convention.

VEPG board members are Scott Morrison, Andy Parks, Amy Rucker, and Tracy Turner, along with Chairman Mark Silverman, Secretary Debra Ruffin Taylor and Treasurer Bryan Fraley.

Founding members are veterinarians Bob Agne, Olin Balch, Bob Bowker, Raul Bras, Kent Carter, Hans Castelijns, Jean-Marie Denoix, Vern Dryden, Andrea Floyd, Bryan Fraley, Todd Holbrook, Cliff Honnas, Dennis Jenkins, Carl Kirker-Head, Joanne Kramer, Bruce Lyle, Dick Mansmann, Scott Morrison, Bill Moyer, Steve O’Grady, James Orsini, Andy Parks, Sammy Pittman, Scott Pleasant, Chris Pollitt, Ric Redden, Amy Rucker, Mark Silverman, Debra Ruffin Taylor, Tracy Turner, Luke Wells-Smith, and Chris Wickliffe.

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