Disclosure of disability or misconduct in veterinary graduate registration: balancing confidentiality, equity and stakeholder interests

S. L. Raidal, D. Neutze, J. Strous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Veterinary registration processes, including disclosure of disability or misconduct, vary across jurisdictions in Australasia, and there is currently no clear mechanism for the communication of registration requirements to prospective or current students. Procedures for registration of graduating students are evolving but are not necessarily responsive to conflicting imperatives for confidentiality, protection of stakeholder interests and graduate support. Objective: To obtain opinions from members of the veterinary profession in Australasia on issues relating to graduate registration, including communication between veterinary schools and registration bodies. Method: This was an online survey. Results: Responses were received from 245 members of the profession, including employers, educators, current students, recent graduates and board members. Respondents agreed on the importance of the survey topic to all stakeholder groups, and responses reflected the complex, contestable and nuanced nature of inherent concepts. Responses were strongly polarised between individuals with an appetite for reform, improved discourse around disability and remediation of unprofessional conduct and those with concerns and experiences suggesting boards and educators could not responsibly manage processes that included increased disclosure of disability or prior conduct. Conclusion: Issues related to disability and misconduct should be addressed separately in any change to registration processes. A harmonisation of registration processes across jurisdictions is desirable, but the legal implications of any potential changes require careful consideration. There is a need for improved support of disability, remediation of misconduct and a desire to promote diversity within the profession. The survey evoked strong emotions, and future discussion requires sensitivity, empathy and insight.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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