American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges – March 9-11, 2023
The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) held its annual conference and Iverson Bell Symposium from March 9-11 in Washington, D.C.
The conference, drawing more than 350 attendees, featured three keynote speakers and offered sessions that highlighted best practices and innovations across academic veterinary medicine. Topics included "The Science of Wellness: Designing Human-Centric Veterinary Buildings," "The Future of Veterinary Education Accreditation," "Fairness in Admissions Process: Evaluation of Interviewers' Judgement," and "Planning for the Future: Evaluating Veterinary Workforce Demand." A Stanton Foundation–sponsored symposium covered the spectrum of care, an approach that aims to ensure that veterinary graduates have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to provide clients and their animals with a range of care options.
The first keynote speaker, Jonathan Ripp, MD, associate dean for well-being and resilience and chief wellness officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, discussed the personal and professional consequences of physician burnout and the parallels between human and animal medicine during his session, "Healthcare Worker Burnout: How Did We Get Here and How Do We Create a Path Towards Professional Well-being."
The second keynote speaker, Dr. Claire Simeone, a marine mammal veterinarian and conservationist from Valencia, Spain, spoke on the direct effects of climate change in today's world, especially for animals. She opined that the effects included animals ending up in the wrong environment, poorer air quality, and an increase in heat-related illnesses and more.
The third keynote speaker, Anthony Jack, PhD, assistant professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and assistant professor at the university's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, spoke on diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially with regard to admissions and enrollment during his session, "The Privileged Poor: Access Ain't Inclusion."
The AAVMC's Advocacy Day was held at Capitol Hill, during which member institutions had the opportunity to discuss their own priorities as well as the top three priorities for the AAVMC.
AAVMC Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service
Dr. John R. Pascoe, Winters, California. A 1975 veterinary graduate of the University of Queensland in Australia, Dr. Pascoe is a professor of surgery and executive associate dean of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure, he has also served as chief of the Equine Surgery and Lameness Service, chaired the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, and served as associate dean for academic programs. Dr. Pascoe is a past member and a past chair of the AVMA Council on Education and has also served on the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
AAVMC Iverson Bell Award, sponsored by Banfield Pet Hospital
Dr. Rustin Moore (Ohio State '89), Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Moore is dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, also serving as the Ruth Stanton chair in veterinary medicine. Under his deanship, the veterinary college has established actions and initiatives promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. During his tenure at Ohio State, Dr. Moore has chaired the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and has served as associate dean for clinical services and outreach and as associate executive dean. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, he is a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, has served on the board of directors of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and is president-elect of the AAVMC.
AAVMC Excellence in Research Award
Pamela J. Lein, PhD, Davis, California. Lein is a professor of neurotoxicology, chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences, and director of the second project for the CounterACT Center of Excellence at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurotoxicology; gene-environment interactions in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases; and medical countermeasures for acute intoxication with seizurogenic compounds. Earlier in her career, Lein served on the faculties of Oregon Health & Science University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis
Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez (Michigan State '03), Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Alvarez is an assistant professor-clinical track, the Ruth M. Skaar chair in veterinary medicine endowed professor, and head of the Department of Medical Sciences' Primary Care Section at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She co-developed the Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education, and Social Services program curriculum to support students in managing interactions with the community. Dr. Alvarez is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.
Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship and Merck Animal Health Diversity Leadership Scholarship, sponsored by Merck Animal Health
Alexandra Awad, North Grafton, Massachusetts. Awad is a third-year veterinary student at Tufts University. During her first semester, she co-founded the Tufts Cummings student chapter of the Latinx VMA. During the spring 2021 semester, Awad developed the inaugural Spanish for Veterinarians elective for preclinical students. She also created the Veterinary Spanish Clinic elective for fourth-year students on clinical rotations.
Drs. Ruby L. Perry, Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, president and board chair; Rustin Moore, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, president-elect; Francisco Suárez Güemes, National Autonomous University of Mexico School of Veterinary Medicine, secretary; Lorin Warnick, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, treasurer; and Susan J. Tornquist, Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, immediate past president