Certificate programs promote diversity in veterinary medicine

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Updated Oct. 20, 2014

A new online didactic program aims to provide resources to veterinary professionals so they may lead inclusive workplaces that are welcoming for both professionals and clients.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine began offering on Sept. 15 online certificate programs in diversity and inclusion through the Center of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine. Its website, is a virtual resource and training center designed to provide veterinarians, veterinary technicians, educators, and students with intercultural skills needed to be successful in an increasingly diverse world, said Dr. Sandra San Miguel, associate dean for engagement and professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Purdue. She said additional programs and resources will be added to the center as it grows.

The initial certificate programs are designed for those who seek to improve their communication, leadership, teaching and learning, and cultural competence skills and who are committed to fostering welcoming work and learning environments, she said.

The program for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, for example, covers topics including persons with disabilities, the Hispanic community, and microaggressions, which are verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate slights and insults on the basis of characteristics including gender, sexual orientation, and physical ability.”

Participants in the certificate program will complete a combination of online learning modules, community engagement, and cultural experiences to build their skill sets in navigating the diversity of generations, sexual orientation, ability, gender, race, and ethnicity, Dr. San Miguel said. Certificates and nine hours of continuing education credit are available after completing the program.

The cost per individual ranges from $100 to $300, and group discounts are offered.

The Center of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine was developed by Purdue’s veterinary college in partnership with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the AVMA.

Related JAVMA content:

Dialogue about diversity reveals tensions (May 1, 2013)

The changing face of the profession (Feb. 15, 2010)

We’re all in this together (May 15, 2011)

Clarification: An earlier version of this article gave an incomplete definition for the term “microaggression.”