25 Jan Veterinary Midlevel Position
An Update from the AVMA House of Delegates
Representing Pennsylvania: Dr. Christina Dougherty and Dr. Kate Boatright
The AVMA House of Delegates has taken a firm stance against the establishment of a veterinary midlevel position (MLP), asserting that it is an impractical and inadequately targeted solution to current workforce challenges in the veterinary profession. In a comprehensive update, the AVMA argues that the difficulties faced by the profession can be more effectively addressed through alternative, expedient, and sustainable measures. The association expresses concerns over the potential negative repercussions of legislative initiatives authorizing MLPs or nonveterinarians to undertake responsibilities traditionally reserved for veterinarians, including diagnosis, prognosis, treatment planning, prescription, and surgery. The AVMA emphasizes the overlapping nature of MLP responsibilities with existing roles within veterinary practice and underscores the absence of necessary accreditation, testing, and regulatory structures to ensure safe and effective practice.
The update outlines the AVMA’s opposition to MLPs on grounds of safety, practicality, and cost, pointing out the need for significant legislative and regulatory changes across all states. The association argues against drawing analogies between veterinary MLPs and positions in human medicine, highlighting the unique responsibilities of veterinarians in ensuring both individual patient care and broader considerations such as food safety and public health. Additionally, the AVMA raises concerns about potential liabilities imposed on supervising veterinarians, the impact on sustainability in certain practice areas, and the exacerbation of existing shortages in veterinary support staff. The update concludes by advocating for immediate actions that positively impact workforce efficiency, such as leveraging existing staff, enhancing workplace culture, and embracing technological advancements. Read the full update for an in-depth exploration of the AVMA’s position and arguments.