Feet First: Will Future Veterinarians Specialize in Equine Podiatry?

Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group launched at 2014 AAEP Convention
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Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group launched at 2014 AAEP Convention
VEPG Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group Fran Jurga TJR x640

At the 60th Annual Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), held December 5 to 9, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah, much of the news focused on the organization's past. Celebrating 60 years of educational meetings, the AAEP is riding a wave of success that has carried it to world leadership in continuing professional development for equine practitioners.

But there was one group of vets who were not looking to the past. They were much too focused on looking to the future, and where their interests might take them, and future generations of practitioners.

The Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group, Inc. (VEPG), a group of 32 veterinarians who are interested in the equine foot, publicly announced its existence and intended mission during the convention.

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).

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.