The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) is aware of a bill recently introduced in the Florida state legislature cited as the Veterinary Workforce Innovation Act.
If enacted, this bill would authorize certain individuals who are not veterinarians to use the title veterinary professional associates (associates). Associates would be permitted to perform certain veterinary duties and actions while supervised by a veterinarian, including supervision through telecommunication.
Associates would be prohibited from prescribing certain medicinal drugs or controlled substances and from performing surgical procedures other than veterinary sterilizations and dental surgeries.
ACVS stands strongly opposed to individuals who are not veterinarians performing sterilization procedures and dental surgeries. These and other veterinary procedures require the training necessary to provide proper medical care and achieve optimal outcomes. Additionally, the confusion that exists among the animal-owning public about the difference between veterinarians and veterinary specialists would be intensified by the introduction of a veterinary professional associate title.
Questions regarding ACVS’s position should be directed to ACVS Communication Director Lucretia DiSanto at firstname.lastname@example.org.