Posted July 17, 2013
The AVMA Executive Board voted to establish a Working Group on Veterinary Career Opportunity and Awareness at its meeting June 6-8. The goal is to create a plan to identify talented, science-minded high school and undergraduate students who might be interested in veterinary medicine.
At the same time, the plan will impart a more complete understanding of what the profession offers at a time when affordability of veterinary education and future earnings may be a deterrent to potential candidates who would otherwise consider applying for admission to veterinary college.
The concern is, according to the recommendation submitted by board Chair Janver D. Krehbiel: “In light of the challenges currently facing the profession, potential veterinary students may be dissuaded from applying to veterinary colleges. This could lead to applicants who are less qualified for the veterinary profession than previous applicants have been.”
The plan will, therefore, focus on large-scale opportunities that can be better leveraged by national organizations to supplement the narrower outreach currently done by veterinary colleges.
The working group’s specific charge, according to the recommendation background material, includes developing a plan and budget to do the following:
- Identify and inform potential veterinary college applicants of the rewarding and varied career opportunities available within the profession.
- Identify the most opportune means for reaching these high school and undergraduate students with information about the profession.
- Enhance and target the delivery of information about the profession to students historically underrepresented in veterinary medicine and those who are diverse with respect to professional aspirations.
- Provide prospective students with a realistic assessment of the academic, financial, and competitive challenges involved in becoming a veterinarian.
Groups and conferences that potentially could be targeted include the National FFA Organization, American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Symposium, Society for Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, Association of College Honor Societies, and Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.
The working group will be composed of eight representatives from the AVMA, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and industry, specifically Zoetis, given its commitment to attracting science-minded individuals to careers in veterinary medicine. A veterinary student will also be a member.
The working group will provide an interim report following its first meeting and a final report to the board in fall 2014. The latter will include a proposed plan that outlines next steps and a budget to achieve the working group charge.