A new healthcare provider exam, the first in the U.S. since 2013, is set to expand to all 50 states.
The new exam, known as the VET TECHNICAL exam, was created to be more accessible and accessible for all healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, podiatrists, podiatric specialists, and podiatric technicians, according to the American College of Veterinary Technicians (ACVT).
The new exam is being rolled out in more than 150 states.
“We have seen tremendous growth in healthcare in recent years, and our goal is to make sure that the exam is accessible for everyone in the country, and that it’s easy to use,” said Caren Crenshaw, the CEO of the ACVT.
A spokesperson for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCAM), which organizes the exam, told NBC News that the new exam will be available for purchase through the USPTO.
The new veterinary exam will not be a prerequisite for becoming a veterinarian.
It will be an optional exam for students to take at their own pace.
“The exam has been very successful in getting more people into the profession, so we’re looking forward to having it available to more students in the coming years,” said Dr. Andrew S. Pashley, the National Coordinator for the Vets in Medicine and Surgery at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
“This is an important step forward in expanding access to the exam,” he added.
“The VET exam is one of the first exams that is offered in veterinary medicine to allow patients to be seen by a trained veterinary health professional, and to allow them to provide an accurate medical history to the physician.
As we continue to expand access to veterinary medicine in the United States, we are very excited about expanding this to all states, regardless of the state in which the applicant is from,” said the ACVT in a statement.
“As an ACVT member organization, we continue our efforts to improve access to healthcare in the nation and around the world, and look forward to working with other organizations in the future to help ensure the exam continues to be accessible and useful for everyone.”
A number of states have already announced plans to expand their veterinary exam programs.
Florida and Indiana announced plans for a new statewide exam, and Tennessee is considering expanding the exam.
North Carolina recently expanded its exam, with a pilot program opening in April, and Texas has expanded the exam for its veterinarians.
The expanded exam will take place in 2018, and the new statewide test will take effect in 2019.