AAVCAmerican Association of Veterinary Clinicians

AAVC Business Meeting and

Department Heads and Hospital Directors Meeting


Friday, March 12, 2010

Westin Alexandria


I. Welcome and Introductions – Dr. Bonnie Rush, President-Elect

II. Minutes   (Attachment A)

There was a motion made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes from the 2009 AAVC Business Meeting.

III. President’s Report – Dr. Bonnie Rush for Dr. Paul Lunn (Attachment B)

Dr. Rush reported that Dr. Lunn’s  goal was to get a completely online match.  SLOR was his primary focus. 

IV. President Elect’s Report – Dr. Bonnie Rush

Dr. Rush’s plan is to take a very close look at SLOR.  There is currently a survey out.  A small committee will review the results to determine if the SLOR needs amended. 

V. Secretary/Treasurer – Dr. Roger Fingland (Attachment C)

Dr. Fingland presented the financials.  AAVC is financially healthy and has a laddered investment portfolio that is both safe and conservative. 

There was a motion made, seconded and carried to approve the Secretary Treasurer’s Report. 

VI. AVMA – Dr. Mimi Arighi (Attachment D)

Alternate Director Mimi Arighi presented the AVMA report.  She attended the January 9th House of Delegates Meeting. 

There has been a lot of discussion on financial issues at AVMA.  They are enacting a dues increase. 

They discussed five strategic goals.

They discussed the NCVEI website.

There were several resolutions.

VII. Nominating Committee – Dr. Bonnie Rush

Dr. Rush reported that the following individuals were nominated and subsequently elected to officer positions for the 2010-2011year:

President-Elect                         Dr. Rustin Moore

Secretary-Treasurer                               Dr. Roger Fingland

VIII. Awards Committee – Dr. Corinne Sweeney (Attachment E)

The Awards Committee consisted of David Hodgson, Ann Johnson, David Senior, Elizabeth Spangler and Chair Corinne Sweeney. 


There were four nominees for the Resident Award. The following individuals were selected:

        Dr. Stanley Kim, University of Florida, Small Animal Surgery

        Dr. Teresa Burns, The Ohio State University, Large Animal Internal Medicine


There were two nominations for the faculty achievement award.  The following individual was selected:

        Dr. John Hubbell, The Ohio State University

IX. VIRMP Report – Dr. Roger Fingland (Attachment F)

For the 2010 match, Dr. Fingland became the new director.  He replaced Michael Garvey, who had taken over the match in about 1985. 

The following changes were implemented as part of the 2010 match:

  • The virmp.org website was completely updated and upgraded.  It included a completely online application process. 
  • A Standardized Letter of Reference was implemented. 
  • There used to be a Couples Match now called Couples Accommodation Program, which was revised. 
  • There was a revised VIRMP calendar.  One of the reasons was VISAs.  Another reason was a lot of requests to make match day earlier. 
  • The Open Position/Unmatched Applicant list is made public.  A survey is being done of these individuals to determine the number of matches that occur from these lists after match day.
  • There was revised and refined data gathering. 
  • IT support redundancy was implemented.  Jonathan had that person with him when he was running the match.

2010 Match Results

Dr. Fingland reviewed the match stats for the year.  He made note of the following:

  • About half the people in the match get matched. 
  • 82 percent of the internships in the match were filled. 
  • 90 percent of the residencies in the match were filled. 

They analyzed Institutions vs. Private Practices.  Seventy percent of the matched internships were in private practice.  Thirty-seven percent of matched residencies were in private practice.  Small animal surgery and oncology was the only type of position that matched 100 percent in both residencies and private practice.

Applications and Rankings

Application packets that were paper before were all online this year.  It was so easy to apply that people applied places that they never followed through and ranked.  Program Coordinators had to review everyone who applied.  He reviewed statistics showing that there were three tiers of individuals based on the number of applications that individuals submitted.  As the average number of applications goes up, so does the average number of ranks. 


There are a lot more people applying to both internships and residencies than there was in 2006.  The number of residencies has stayed flat.  The number of internships has gone up, but not at the same rate as the number of applicants.  The match rate for both internships and residencies has gone down slightly since 2006. 

Of those responding to survey about open positions, so far 16 of 28 open residency positions have been filled, 70 of 156 internship positions were filled. Some candidates make it their strategy to not finalize their rank order, so they end up on the unmatched list.     

Issues Impacting 2010 Match

Missed deadlines were a problem.  Mr. Austin works really hard with people who have technical problems resulting in missing the deadline.  People who waited until really late may have encountered a log jam on the website because so many people were hitting it at the same time. 

Some people don’t finalize because they simply change their mind about participating.  The VIRMP will finalize for them if we don’t hear from them and if we know they are going to end up on the unmatched list anyway. 

The distinction between application and ranking is very important.  Some applicants think they are the same. 

There are click happy applicants who apply for a broad spectrum of programs. 

Participants sometimes think that no match means the VIRMP is flawed.  Candidates think there was a mistake. 

Computer illiteracy is a problem. 

VISA Problems continue to be an issue.

Couples Accommodation Program

The Executive Committee voted to discontinue the couples match in its current form. 

What might be done is adding a place on the website that encourages couples to contact programs to ask that they be ranked. 

2011 VIRMP Calendar

The match date is February 7, 2011 – which is three weeks earlier than in the past. 


Items of note in regards to the new completely online match:

  • Application material unchanged; we just put it online.
  • Application includes a .pdf packet including application, cv, slor, transcripts and personal statement.
  • The Program Coordinator is in charge of access
  • Generic Letter of Intent –  a candidate now only has to write one
  • Zip file size should be considered
  • Applications are complete earlier (including SLORs)
  • Review electronic vs. printed format is up to the program
  • Post-match availability of applications & transcripts

SLOR – Dr. Lori Kogan

Dr. Kogan explained that a standardized letter of recommendation was created and implemented for the 2010 match.

Feedback that has been received about the SLOR so far includes:

  • Some writers thought that they didn’t have enough space. 
  • Sixty two percent thought the new process was much better. 
  • Of readers, forty-three percent of individuals thought the SLOR allowed them to elucidate differences. It was viewed as more useful if they knew the reviewer. 
  • Many thought evaluators were inflating scores. 
  • Most readers thought the open text section was the right length. 
  • Slightly less than half thought it was much better.

Dr. Moore suggested giving some tips on what to put in the open-ended section. 

Dr. LeBlanc said it would be nice to somehow know how the rankings skew.  People discount reviewer s they don’t know, but if you know the reviewer, then you give greater consideration. 

Where Do We Go From Here -  2011 VIRMP

The following are suggestions that will be considered for implementation in the 2011 VIRMP:


  • Creating Program Categories – Primary and Secondary
  • Eliminating the Couples Accommodation Program
  • Dealing with the number of applications to number of rankings disparity
  • Further refining the SLOR
  • Further refining the Online Application Procedure

Comments and Questions from Attendees


  • Can the Excel spreadsheet include gpa, class rank and class number?
  • UC Davis now has to document the inclusion, exclusion criteria.  Is it possible to make rank dates for applications due sooner? 
  • There has been some discussion of tiering the costs by number of applications submitted.   Some think it should be more expensive to apply to more locations.  Our match is as inexpensive as any out there. Last year it was $65.00.  This year it was $70.00.  There was a significant decrease in the cost of the application process to both applicants and programs. 


Dr. Rush noted that Jonathan Austin did a great job and that she wished he was there to thank, personally. 


Respectfully submitted,


Molly K. McKee

Executive Director