Pima Medical becomes state’s first accredited vet tech program - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Pima Medical becomes state’s first accredited vet tech program

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The American Veterinary Medical Association has officially confirmed Pima Medical’s new accreditation as Montana’s only veterinary technician program.

“Our collaboration with the University of Montana Western is a shining example of how educational efficiencies and outcomes improve with a unified alliance; making student success the first priority,” said Pima Medical Institute President and CEO, Fred Freedman. “UMW has been a valuable partner. Jobs have been created and successful graduates will enrich their Montana communities. We are thrilled to play a part in this success story.”

Receiving AVMA accreditation helps to elevate a program and validates to employers that it’s meeting a higher standard of instructional achievement for veterinary medical education in the United States.

The accreditation process is a voluntary one that involves site inspections, curriculum, faculty, and financial reviews, outcomes and other factors.

“Montana has been trying to get a vet tech program for a long time,” said Pima Medical Institute Veterinary Technician Program Director, Dr. Jan Winderl. “Vets have been calling us two to three times a month asking about our graduates. The whole state is aware of this program and anxious to hire trained vet techs. Now Montanans won’t have to leave the state to get their educations.”

With AVMA accreditation, Pima Medical graduates will be able to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The exam tests graduates for skills and knowledge, and even though the state of Montana does not currently require a veterinary technician to be licensed, as most other states do, it may in the near future.

Currently there is a bill being drafted and will be introduced in the near future that, if passed, will require veterinary technicians to be licensed in Montana. Pima Medical Institute’s veterinary technician program in Dillon is currently the only program in Montana where students can graduate and sit for the exam.

Pima Medical’s vet assistant and vet technician programs were first introduced in Dillon in the spring of 2015. With more than 2.5 million head of cattle and an estimated $1.4 billion in annual livestock sales, it made sense to offer such a necessary program in Montana.

The first class of veterinary technician students will graduate on May 26. Students who attend Pima Medical’s veterinary programs at the University of Montana Western have full access to classrooms, labs and a surgical suite, campus housing and cafeteria services, and access to university counselors and student services. 

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