7 CFR § 3431.3 - Definitions and acronyms.

§ 3431.3 Definitions and acronyms.

(a) General definitions. As used in this part:

Act means the National Veterinary Medical Service Act, as amended.

Agency or NIFA means the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.

Food animal means the following species: Bovine, porcine, ovine/camelid, cervid, poultry, caprine, and any other species as determined by the Secretary.

Food supply veterinary medicine means all aspects of veterinary medicine's involvement in food supply systems, from traditional agricultural production to consumption.

Insular area means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.

NVMSA means the National Veterinary Medicine Service Act.

Practice of food supply veterinary medicine includes corporate/private practices devoted to food animal medicine, mixed animal medicine located in a rural area (at least 30 percent of practice devoted to food animal medicine), food safety, epidemiology, public health, animal health, and other public and private practices that contribute to the production of a safe and wholesome food supply.

Practice of veterinary medicine means to diagnose, treat, correct, change, alleviate, or prevent animal disease, illness, pain, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical, dental, or mental conditions by any method or mode; including:

(1) The prescription, dispensing, administration, or application of any drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, anesthetic, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or medical or surgical technique, or

(2) The use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, or

(3) The use of any manual or mechanical procedure for reproductive management, or

(4) The rendering of advice or recommendation by any means including telephonic and other electronic communications with regard to any of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this definition.

Rural area means any area other than a city or town that has a population of 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other officer or employee of the Department to whom the authority involved has been delegated.

Service area means geographic area in which the veterinarian will be providing veterinary medical services.

State means any one of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, and the insular areas of the United States.

State animal health official or SAHO means the State veterinarian, or equivalent, who will be responsible for nominating and certifying veterinarian shortage situations within the State.

Veterinarian means a person who has received a professional veterinary medicine degree from a college of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA Council on Education.

Veterinarian shortage situation means any of the following situations in which the Secretary, in accordance with the process in subpart A of this part, determines has a shortage of veterinarians:

(1) Geographical areas that the Secretary determines have a shortage of food supply veterinarians; and

(2) Areas of veterinary practice that the Secretary determines have a shortage of food supply veterinarians, such as food animal medicine, public health, animal health, epidemiology, and food safety.

Veterinary medicine means all branches and specialties included within the practice of veterinary medicine.

Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program or VMLRP means the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Service Act.

(b) Definitions applicable to Subpart B.

Applicant means an individual who applies to and meets the eligibility criteria for the VMLRP.

Breach of agreement results when a participant fails to complete the service agreement obligation required under the terms and conditions of the agreement and will be subject to assessment of monetary damages and penalties as determined in the service agreement, unless a waiver has been granted or an exception applies.

Current payment status means that a qualified educational loan is not past due in its payment schedule as determined by the lending institution.

Debt threshold means the minimum amount of qualified student debt an individual must have, on their program eligibility date, in order to be eligible for program benefits, as determined by the Secretary.

Program eligibility date means the date on which an individual's VMLRP agreement is executed by the Secretary.

Program participant means an individual whose application to the VMLRP has been approved and whose service agreement has been accepted and signed by the Secretary.

Qualifying educational expenses means the costs of attendance of the applicant at a college of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA Council on Education, exclusive of the tuition and reasonable living expenses. Educational expenses may include fees, books, laboratory expenses and materials, as required by an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine as part of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program, or the equivalent. The program participant must submit sufficient documentation, as required by the Secretary, to substantiate the school requirement for the educational expenses incurred by the program participant.

Qualifying educational loans means loans that are issued by any Federal, State, or local government entity, accredited academic institution(s), and/or commercial lender(s) that are subject to examination and supervision in their capacity as lending institutions by an agency of the United States or the State in which the lender has its principal place of business. Loans must have been made for one or more of the following: School tuition, other qualifying educational expenses, or reasonable living expenses relating to the obtainment of a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from a college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA Council on Education. Such loans must have documentation which is contemporaneous with the training received in a college or school of veterinary medicine. If qualifying educational loans are refinanced, the original documentation of the loan(s) will be required to be submitted to the Secretary to establish the contemporaneous nature of such loans.

Reasonable living expenses means the ordinary living costs incurred by the program participant while attending the college of veterinary medicine, exclusive of tuition and educational expenses. Reasonable living expenses must be incurred during the period of attendance and may include food and lodging expenses, insurance, commuting and transportation costs. Reasonable living expenses must be equal to or less than the sum of the school's estimated standard student budgets for living expenses for the degree of veterinary medicine for the year(s) during which the program participant was enrolled in the school. However, if the school attended by the program participant did not have a standard student budget or if a program participant requests repayment for living expenses which are in excess of the standard student budgets described in the preceding sentence, the program participant must submit documentation, as required by the Secretary, to substantiate the reasonableness of living expenses incurred. To the extent that the Secretary determines, upon review of the program participant's documentation, that all or a portion of the living expenses are reasonable, these expenses will qualify for repayment.

Service agreement means the agreement, which is signed by an applicant and the Secretary for the VMLRP wherein the applicant agrees to accept repayment of qualifying educational loans and to serve in accordance with the provisions of NVMSA for a prescribed period of obligated service.

Termination means a waiver of the service obligation granted by the Secretary when compliance by the participant is impossible, would involve extreme hardship, or where enforcement with respect to the individual would be unconscionable (see breach of agreement).

Withdrawal means a request by a participant for withdrawal from participation in the VMLRP after signing the service agreement, but prior to VMLRP making the first quarterly payment on behalf of the participant. A withdrawal is without penalty to the participant and without obligation to the Program.