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Volume 21, Number 2 Fall, 1994

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Discussion Leader: Bennie I. Osburn, DVM, PhD
Rapporteur: Blair Meldrum, DVM, PhD


The assigned topic for group consideration was "Regionalization of training and research programs." Initial discussions centered on the issues, strategies and solutions to the 3 items given our work group in the program outline:

It soon became apparent that the word "regionalization" may not reflect a correct connotation. After considering several alternatives, the group achieved consensus on a more global title for our topic, namely, "Interinstitutional Postgraduate Training and Research Programs."


Identification of the various issues involved with this topic provoked much discussion. Following consideration of all possible issues, a summarized list was developed as a framework for promoting further discussion and analysis during the workshop. The six issues are:

The Strategies and Solutions

The Needs--Emerging Opportunity Areas that Address Societal Issues: These issue areas represent the greatest societal needs, the best opportunities for funding and the areas that, in most of our academic institutions, lack a critical mass necessary to initiate significant programs at this time. These are:

Cutting across all of the above opportunity areas are the following issues which need to be incorporated in the programs: outcomes assessment; epidemiology/data collection/analysis; risk assessment; and systems approaches to the problems/issues.

Institutional Control and Identification of Participating Units

It is critical for the success and smooth operation of these programs that definitive guidelines and operational policies be established early. This can be accomplished by:

Establishing Standards for the Program

Success of any program depends upon the establishment of quality program plans.

Political Environment and Issues

The local and sometimes national political environments have tended to discourage these programs in the past. The advantages and disadvantages of these programs need to be addressed so that local political, commodity, and administrative leaders understand the benefits and limitations of these programs.

Content of Programs

The content and viability of programs is dependent on the need and enthusiasm of the students, faculty and consumers. Major issues to consider when developing these programs include:


Resources are needed to assure the success of the programs. These resources include:


It is the recommendation of this work group to the 13th Symposium on Veterinary Medical Education that academic veterinary medicine increase interinstitutional efforts to address societal problems that include increased opportunities for graduate training programs.

Strategic Plan

Where do we go from here? It became evident during the course of discussion that the development of a strategic plan was essential to implementation of interinstitutional graduate training and research programs. Definition and clarification of who, what and how must be accomplished along with a clear sense of why. What is the need for such a program and what is going to be done without some inducement that will cause some groups to get together on inter-institutional programs? What areas or programs are worth considering in this light?

This work group recommends that these issues and a strategic plan be coordinated by AAVMC in conjunction with some foundation(s) to initiate these new opportunities in Interinstitutional Postgraduate Training and Research Programs. A strategic plan may include the following:

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