July 9, 2009
The Hilltop
Orange Park, FL

Dr. Nicoletti’s Report:

There has been a large decrease in the teaching hospital’s revenue, esp. in the area of equine medicine.

Applicant numbers have stayed the same, ~900 this year.

The construction of the Small Animal Teaching Hospital is actually under budget.

The Florida State Legislature has changed the residency requirements-students can no longer become in-state residents after living in Florida for one year while going to school.  This will affect the tuition and the level of debt for out-of-state students.

The average debt of veterinary students has continued to rise to over $100,000 (~$120,000) while the average starting salary for new grads is ~$61,500.

Mean salaries for vet med, dentistry and M.D.’s are $80, $147 and $154,000 respectively.

According to a report in recent issue of JAVMA, the relatively low financial return for veterinary medicine may be a deciding factor when individuals choose not to enter this profession.

The Dean is planning to increase the number of Ross students, UF’s CVM needs the money.

Dr. Acree’s Report

Peer review complaint proceedings are as follows:

The President of JVMS contacts the Peer Review Committee.

The complaint must be submitted in writing.

Most complaints are a result of a lack of communication.

Rumors and innuendo’s are not acceptable.

We have all been subject to this at one time or another

Putting complaints on the website is NOT a good idea

At this level, this is not public information; therefore it is not appropriate to post it

Usually these are just accusations that may be groundless therefore publication is unnecessary

The Peer Review Committee is available to those who need it.

Dr. Sutliff added that complaints should not be public information.

Dr. Miller commented that she was asked how to file a complaint though the JVMS website.

Dr. Snyder added that he had been the Chair of the Peer Review Committee for 10 years.

99% of the complaints that he has received have been groundless.

The #1 complaint is that we charge too much.

This is 100% confidential and it should be between the DVM and his or her client.

There is no need to broadcast this; it is not a legal issue.

The objective is to sit down and discuss it, most clients just want to vent.

The Peer Review Committee’s MAIN purpose is to avoid having the complaint escalate to the level of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

Once the complaint reaches the level of the DBPR, the JVMS no longer has any power.

The last complaint to reach the DBPR cost ~$10,000!

Dr. Snyder also recommended that the staff not be told.

Dr. Sutliff added that this is an advantage for our society.

He also commented that the public needs to know how to do this via our website.

Phil Hinkle of the FVMA is currently drafting a proposal for a peer review process.

Dr. Tracey LaDue will discuss the Holiday Committee at the next meeting.


New Business

Dr. Sutliff presented an audiovisual discussion of potential changes to the Rabies Bylaws and a review of the present State laws. These presentations may be available on the JVMS website.

Dr. Gordon asked if there would be a change to the current licensing fees and also inquired if there would be a mechanism to enforce changes to the Rabies Bylaws.  The response was “not yet”.

Discussion about Committees

Some are active and some are not.

The Ethics and the Peer Review Committee is now one committee.

A Website Committee is needed.

An invitation to recommend changes and additions was introduced.

Dr. Silverness preferred electronic filing of complaints to the Peer Review Committee.

Currently, the process requires that the complaint is submitted to Dr.’s Acree, Gordon and Sutliff

Some members felt that electronic filing of complaints on the website was too easy. They preferred that the complaint be submitted in writing.

The legality of electronic transmissions is still under contest

Dr. Snyder agrees that e-transmission should be permitted.

This should be reviewed by an attorney.

Perhaps we should wait until the FVMA decides.

Other topics of discussion:

Candidates for membership

New member dues

Dr. Silverness brought up the issue of rabies vaccinations for staff.  The cost is ~$200 per staff member.  A rabies vaccination clinic was proposed.  Titer checks could be performed during the clinic for those already vaccinated.

Thanks to Dr. Hansen and Dr. McKnight for their donations to Animal Care and Protective Services.

Dr. Niessen briefly mentioned the health risks of being re-vaccinated for rabies, titer checks are a lot safer.  In many cases, titers are protective many years after vaccination.

Danielle Stokes, Vet Tech, congratulated Dr. Acree on his FVMA Veterinarian of the Year Award

Continuing Education:

Dr. Tracey LaDue thanked Merial for a great CE program and announced the September 13, 2009 program.  The presentation, Horns of Dilemma-The Legal Implications of Veterinary Ethics, will be presented by Mr. Douglas Jack, Esq.

Dr. Rick Williams

FVMA Report

New law as of July 1st, all hospitals will be inspected every 2 years.  No more biennial self-inspections.  The DBPR is apparently not cutting anybody a lot of slack.  Go through the list, check to make sure that you have a working flashlight, check to make sure that the fire extinguishers are not out of date, make sure that you have your after-hours contact listed, etc. etc.

Identity theft and the importance of protecting a client’s identity were discussed.  Don’t forget to shred everything!  DVM’s can be charged up to $10,000 per client!  Also, there can be a per transaction fine that can be in effect for up to one year.  Be careful, this is an OSHA requirement.

Dr. Williams offered copies of the FVMA’s legislative wrap up.  He discussed that there are some great alliances forming between the FVMA and various animal advocacy groups.

The HCCE Permit is not working out as originally planned.  The next meeting will be during the first week in August.  It is possible that Chapter 474 may be opened up.  This would allow practices such as veterinary massage therapy and chiropractics to be on the agenda.  It is risky to open this up.  There is some reluctance because we would have to get to a point where we will need to start regulating subspecialties.  We will have to determine what credentials are needed.  In Colorado, the AVMA is looking at this closely.  They tried to get the DBPR to address this and they said “No.”

Please join the FVMA!!!!!

Spring Meeting: April 2010 in Tampa

Please make your plans early.

Dr. Nicoletto announced that Saturday August 8th will be the grand opening of Animal Care and Protective Services new facility at 2020 Forest St.  Jacksonville, FL 32204 904-255-PETS

It is an eco-friendly, gold status LEED Building, one of only a few animal shelters in the US that have this designation.

The meeting was adjourned.


Dr. Kim Niessen09