Fall 2013

Greetings from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Dr. Maccabe“Suggested” deadlines are like suggested speed limits – observed by some and ignored by others. That’s why the AAVMC’s Veterinary Medical Application Service (VMCAS) would like to thank the significant number of applicants who completed veterinary medical school applications by the suggested September 1 deadline. Many incomplete applications remain in the system, awaiting a candidate’s momentous, potentially life-changing decision to hit the “submit” button, and that’s perfectly all right. The penalty-free, suggested deadline has come and gone and the “for-real” deadline of October 2 is now a mere week away. Despite mounting deadline pressure, there is still time to complete the application process. It’s a process that will launch approximately 2,800 successful applicants on a path that will eventually lead to rewarding careers in veterinary medicine. In that pursuit, we wish our readers every success. Get some last-minute reminders, learn about a veterinarian who provides high-level care to military working dogs, plus learn about the AAVMC’s plan to shed light on who decides to pursue a veterinary medical education and why – all in this issue of the Pre-Vet Advisor.

Dr. Andrew Maccabe
AAVMC Executive Director

Oct. 2 Deadline for Completing Applications to Veterinary Medical School Nears

If you plan on applying to veterinary medical school, don’t let the opportunity slip away. Please remember the following deadline for the submission of application materials:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Transition to Modernized Systems Underway

Modernization is sometimes a bumpy ride. Prior to today’s lightning-fast broadband speeds, getting online required waiting while listening to the buzz and hum of making a dial-up connection. And not long ago, bandwidth issues often interrupted online videos with long, annoying buffering pauses. Eventually, gains in experience and technology overcame those roadblocks. Likewise, our transition to smoother, more efficient application processes may include an unintended consequence or two. In the end, though, this transition will create a vastly improved system. We thank you in advance for your patience and support as we modernize and refine our processes.

Transcript verification begins with this application cycle, meaning that applicants only have to send one set of transcripts to VMCAS rather than sending multiple copies to multiple schools. The implementation of this new practice, combined with the move to new software, might mean a delay in posting transcripts, which could also mean a delay in the transfer of completed applications to schools. However, schools will be able to begin the evaluation process earlier by viewing pending applications in the system. The important thing to remember is that VMCAS will accept transcripts up until the Oct. 2 deadline, provided that applicants submit all materials by the deadline.

Please remember these important pointers as you fill out your veterinary medical school application:
  • Review your application carefully to make sure that the data is accurate.
  • You do not have to wait for all your evaluations or transcripts to be received by VMCAS to submit your application.
  • In addition to completing the application, be sure to submit your transcript and three electronic references.
  • Print your completed application for your records BEFORE delivering it electronically to VMCAS. (Do not send printed applications to VMCAS.)
  • Submit your application to VMCAS before 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, October 2, 2013.
Remember, it's our goal to provide all the tools you need to prepare for your academic journey in veterinary medicine!

Find an applicant checklist and other reminders here.

Digging Into the “How’s” and “Why’s” of Veterinary Medical Education

What inspires and motivates students to decide to pursue a veterinary medical education? The AAVMC wants to know. That’s why we will soon conduct a national, web-based survey of college and university undergraduates enrolled in pre-vet or other healthcare programs. Our goal is to assess their perceptions or misconceptions about veterinary medicine. “We want to discover where likely veterinary medical school applicants are, what they’re doing, and what drives them,” said Tony Wynne, the AAVMC’s director of admissions and recruitment affairs.

Two additional surveys – for a total of three – will look at the perceptions of educational advisors toward veterinary medicine and the self-perception of practicing veterinarians. “We also want to assess the mindset of academic advisors and practicing veterinarians who are in a position to influence and shape the decisions of prospective veterinary medical school applicants,” said Wynne.

The survey of undergraduate pre-vet and health advisors will assess:
  • Awareness levels regarding veterinary medicine
  • Ability to recognize distinguishing features of individual school programs
  • Capacity to identify trusted sources of information about veterinary medicine
The AAVMC sponsored similar surveys of students and pre-vet advisors in 2006, but expects a new survey to yield valuable, more up-to-date information. The instrument is also designed to detect changes or emerging trends.

A telephone survey of practicing veterinarians will assess professional self-image and the role of practicing veterinarians in the recruitment of young veterinarians. AAVMC launched this new survey in recognition of the fact that active veterinarians can play an influential role in shaping the goals and decisions of prospective students and future practitioners.

Providing High-level Care to Military Working Dogs