AAVMC's Primary Care Veterinary Educators (PCVE)

The AAVMC’s Primary Care Veterinary Educators (PCVE) is preparing students for professional excellence in primary care veterinary medicine.

The PCVE is enhancing primary care programs at colleges of veterinary medicine, developing exceptional primary care educators, preparing career-ready veterinarians, and creating opportunities for collaboration between primary care veterinary educators and the profession.



To advance and inspire primary care veterinary education.

  1. To enhance primary care education programs within the colleges of veterinary medicine.
  2. To develop excellent primary care educators
  3. To produce career-ready veterinarians
  4. To increase opportunities for collaboration between primary care veterinary educators and the profession
The Value of Primary Care Education

Primary care education is an essential part of modern veterinary practice. About 75 percent of veterinary medical students plan on providing clinical care for companion animals in general practice. Leaders in the profession have determined that pet-owners need to better understand the many benefits of providing regular, preventive care for their pets. Experts know better primary care can help prevent the onset of serious disease and improve the overall health and wellbeing of the nation’s 180 million pet cats and dogs.

The PCVE collaborates with the Partners for Healthy Pets, an initiative led by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association and scores of partners from higher education to business and industry.

History of the PCVE

The PCVE group began when a group of educators recognized the need to improve primary care education for veterinary medical students.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital caseloads had gradually become more concentrated on difficult and unusual referral cases that required advance expertise. Fourth-year students were gaining a lot of exposure to challenging cases during fourth-year clinical rotations but, in some cases, were not gaining enough experience with common, everyday care. The group also recognized opportunities for introducing more effective primary care education programming earlier in the curriculum.

A group of veterinary medical educators began meeting in 2008. Following informal meetings in 2008 at Cornell University and 2010 in St. Louis, the group held their first symposium at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in 2011.

Recognizing the need for administrative support and organizational structure and development, the group began discussions with the AAVMC. AAVMC officials helped organize a joint meeting between the PCVE and the Partners for Healthy Pets at the University of Georgia in 2012. In January 2013, the PCVE officially became a part of the AAVMC and now operates as a subcommittee of the AAVMC’s Academic Affairs Committee.

PCVE leadership

Dr.  Stacy Eckman (Chair) - Texas A&M University 
Dr. Jason Coe (Past Chair) - University of Guelph 
Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez - University of Wisconsin
Dr. Beth Boynton - Western University of Health Sciences
Dr. Christine Bryan - Mississippi State University
Dr. Raelynn Farnsworth - Washington State University
Dr. Thomas Odom - Massey University
Dr. Nancy Welborn – Louisiana State University
Dr. Julie Wuertz - University of Florida
Dr. Karen Cornell (Academic Affairs Committee Liaison) - Texas A&M University
Dr. Ted Mashima - AAVMC Staff Liaison 

Annual PCVE Symposium

The annual symposium offers presentations and networking opportunities designed to help primary care educators generate new ideas and develop more effective educational strategies. Presentation topics often include coaching and mentoring strategies, practice management and promotion, as well as clinically oriented topics.