VetMedEducator20

April 2015


2015 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program Benefits Almost 500 Students

Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Veterinary Officer, Zoetis US, (left) with AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew Maccabe


Zoetis™ and the AAVMC have announced the names of 487 second-and third-year veterinary students who will each receive a $2,000 scholarship toward their education.

Now in its sixth year, the program aims to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians, and to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education. In total, $974,000 was awarded to this year’s recipients.

"We are proud to reward and recognize these veterinary students who are already demonstrating academic excellence, a commitment to veterinary medicine, and leadership,” said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Zoetis US. “By investing in the next generation of veterinarians, we can address some of our existing industry challenges, including the issues of student debt and the need for greater diversity in the veterinary profession."

Nearly 1,200 applicants from universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean were evaluated based on several criteria, including academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership, and career path.

"The AAVMC is very proud of our partnership with Zoetis,” says Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, executive director of the AAVMC. "They are to be applauded for their generous financial contributions and commitment to the future of the veterinary profession. With the AAVMC’s strong focus on empowering veterinary students, we are grateful for the opportunity to help enable veterinary students achieve their goals in veterinary medicine."

This year’s scholarship recipients reflect a broad range of professional interests. Among the 2015 awarded scholars:
  • 23% percent are from racial and ethnically diverse background
  • 25% percent are studying mixed animal medicine
  • 22% percent are studying to practice food animal medicine
  • 22% percent are going into small animal practice
  • 13% percent are entering academia (research and clinical)
  • Other recipients will go into other areas, such as public health, and zoo animal medicine
This year, students applied through Zoetis’ new online resource, VetVance ® . This free site provides students and recent graduates with content on topics that complement their core curriculum, such as professional development, business skills, and financial literacy.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the average educational debt of a 2013 veterinary school graduate was $162,113 —6.9% higher than it was in 2012—with more than half of the graduates accruing debt in excess of $150,000




2015 AAVMC Annual Conference Highlights Recruitment and Admissions


Dr. Paige Carmichael, speaking at the Iverson Bell award luncheon.
More than 250 leaders and other stakeholders in academic veterinary medicine attended the AAVMC’s 2015 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, March 13 to 15 in Washington, DC.

The conference, "Recruiting and Selecting for the Future of Veterinary Medicine," focused on the need for schools and colleges of veterinary medicine to recruit bright, talented students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.

Speakers highlighted how veterinary medicine is a dynamic, evolving profession that must adapt to changing demand, demographics and economic constraints, as well as meet the world’s increasing demand for veterinary expertise.

Many sessions addressed the need to diversify the student body and actively recruit from underrepresented groups, including the new underrepresented group in veterinary medicine: rural males.

Dr. Paige Carmichael from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, who earned the 2015 Iverson Bell Award, stressed the need to get beyond the technical requirements of diversity and, instead, work to gain a deeper understanding of our differences, including "the differences in environments of those who apply." She also spoke about the need to foster an inclusive environment through awareness and sensitivity in language and behavior.

Besides traditional academic metrics, several presenters discussed how to evaluate other qualities that admissions professionals need to consider, such as empathy, passion, integrity, resilience, common sense, communication skills, and a positive attitude. Along with that goal, presenters discussed the variety of tools available to evaluate those character traits, such as group mini-interviews, or even the ethical pros and cons of considering new tools now being implemented by prospective employers, such as the appropriateness of an applicant’s presence online.

The conference also looked at admissions and recruitment-related data, including survey findings that male students are more deterred by the intensive time commitment of additional education than cost; admissions professionals have a clear bias against prerequisite courses fulfilled online versus those fulfilled at traditional institutions; or that, in 2006, "the variety of career options" replaced "doing what I love" as the number one advantage of a veterinary education among veterinary medical school applicants.

The conference also granted awards to distinguished leaders in academic veterinary medicine. Besides Carmichael, the AAVMC recognized:
  • Dr. Jon Patterson, a professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, with the 2014 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis.
  • Dr. Susan VandeWoude from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences with the 2014 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award, presented by Zoetis.
  • Dr. L. Garry Adams, a senior professor from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, with the 2015 Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award
  • Dr. Lance Perryman, dean emeritus of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, with the 2015 Recognition Lecture Award
  • Western University of Health Sciences student Leo Holguin with the 2015 Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leader Scholarship.
The action-packed conference week included legislative visits, the 50th anniversary launch, the Career Fair and more. View a photo gallery.



One Health Case Studies Project Announced

A new AAVMC project will develop a series of case studies in One Health, recognize “One Health Scholars,” and build momentum for a promising initiative throughout the health professions.

The One Health Interprofessional Education Initiative, convened by the AAVMC in collaboration with the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) and the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force (HPCTF), seeks to integrate One Health concepts into the degree programs of health professions students through the case study method of instruction. The working group seeks proposals for new, previously unpublished case studies. Proposals are due by Friday, June 12, 2015. Learn more about submitting proposals.

"The One Health movement has been gathering momentum for several years now," said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, noting that other disciplines in the health professions have also been discovering the merits of the approach. "We appear to be developing critical mass and this seems like a good time to take some concrete steps to move this initiative to the next level."

The recent Ebola virus outbreak and other infectious disease threats, as well as growing awareness about the dangers of antimicrobial resistance and the positive benefits of human-animal interactions are bringing One Health concepts to the attention of many health professions educators.

One Health is broadly viewed as the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines – working locally, nationally, and globally – to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment. The One Health initiative focuses attention on the importance of the connections between human health, animal health, and ecosystem health.

The working group has developed a broad-based One Health Educational Framework designed for use in all health professions education. The One Health Case Study project aims to engage faculty in developing interprofessional teaching cases as well as case studies specific to an individual field of study.

The Working Group seeks proposals for new, previously unpublished case studies. Proposals are due by Friday, June 12, 2015 and must include the components described below. Case studies describing the participation of individuals from different professional disciplines and developed by faculty from more than one health profession are highly encouraged.

The proposals for case studies will be reviewed by the AAVMC/APTR Working Group. Up to ten proposals will be selected for further development as part of the One Health Interprofessional Education Initiative. Authors of selected case studies will be notified no later than Friday, July 3.

Complete case studies are due no later than Friday, October 30, 2015. After peer review, case studies will be published on the AAVMC and APTR websites and widely disseminated to health professions educators.

The lead author of each published case study will be designated a "One Health Scholar" by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and will receive a stipend of $1,000.

The lead author of up to five exemplary case studies will be invited to present their case study at the AAVMC Annual Conference in Washington, DC from March 4 - 6, 2016. AAVMC will waive conference registration fees and provide up to $700 to cover travel expenses.



National Action Plan for AMR Announced

The Obama administration announced their comprehensive “National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” on March 27.

Dr. Lonnie King, chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) /Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture praised the scope and timing of the plan.

"The APLU/AAVMC Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture applauds the White House’s plan to prevent and contain antibiotic resistant infections,” said King. “This is a serious public health issue that warrants the type of comprehensive response that will fully engage the scientific expertise of researchers and educators at our nation’s land-grant universities and veterinary colleges."

The five-point plan seeks to:
  • Slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of infections
  • Strengthen national one-health surveillance efforts to combat resistance.
  • Advance the development of diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria
  • Accelerate R&D for new antibiotics, other therapeutics and vaccines
  • Improve international collaboration for prevention, surveillance, control and R&D
King noted the plan appropriately acknowledges the need for increased research that will help develop a better understanding of how bacteria function and evolve and the new drugs that will be needed to combat them. The plan also acknowledges the critical importance of agriculture and veterinary medicine as essential partners in implementing a national strategy.

"Our task force, which has involved observers from key federal agencies, has been working to help identify and guide the federal government’s research agenda as we look for solutions to address antimicrobial resistance in production agriculture,” he said. “Moving forward, land-grant universities will also play a key role in helping to better inform producers, veterinarians, and the general public about antibiotic resistance and the appropriate responses."

The APLU and the AAVMC announced the creation of the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture in fall 2014.

The task force includes representatives from U.S. agriculture colleges/land grant universities and veterinary colleges as well as key representatives from the production animal agriculture community and the pharmaceutical industry. The goal of the task force is to help advise the federal government on a research agenda and also help publicly disseminate information on the use of antibiotics in production agriculture.



AAVMC Expresses Concern about Controversial Indiana Law

AAVMC officials joined a chorus of organizations, corporations and state governments that have expressed concern about the state of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and are reconsidering the annual presentation of an important AAVMC event in Indianapolis. Many believe that controversial measure allows discrimination against LGBT people, which is a violation of the AAVMC’s Principles of Inclusion policies.

Those principles state, "We confront and reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs, political beliefs, geographic, socioeconomic, and educational background or any other differences that have led to misunderstanding, hostility and injustice."

For the past three years, one of three annual sessions of the AAVMC Leadership Academy has been located in Indianapolis, which is home to the program’s lead sponsor, Elanco.

"Before we commit to holding the event there again, we will ensure that the laws of Indiana are in accordance with our Principles of Inclusion," wrote AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe in an official communication shared with member organizations on March 31. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with our sponsor to select an alternate venue if we cannot ensure that all participants at AAVMC events will be treated with respect and equality under the law."

Since the controversy erupted, the law has been amended to explicitly state that the law is not to be used as a basis to deny service to customers based on factors like sexual orientation or identity, race, age or religion



AAVMC Hosts One Health Luncheon at Global Health Meeting

It was standing room only when almost 50 guests showed up for the Global Environmental Health/One Health Interest Group luncheon sponsored by the AAVMC at the 2015 conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) in Boston.

“That’s a good problem to have,” quipped AAVMC Associate Executive Director for Academic Affairs and Research Dr. Ted Mashima. “We were delighted to see so many academic colleagues interested in the interdisciplinary approach to promoting global health.”

CUGH board member and University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine Associate Dean of Global Programs Dr. Patricia Conrad led discussions designed to foster collaboration and partnerships. Attendees considered ideas for developing the interest group’s online community and made plans for CUGH’s 2016 meeting.

“This was a very significant step among many that have recently been taken by many different organizations to strengthen the One Health movement,” said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We were very pleased to see such an enthusiastic and robust group of veterinarians, physicians, environmental scientists and academic leaders gather for such a productive session. This is just the beginning of a very promising initiative.” Over two-thirds of the guests were non-veterinarians, which speaks to the growing interest in One Health from across the spectrum of academic disciplines, he said.

The AAVMC joined CUGH last year, which is dedicated to “making the university a transforming force in global health.” CUGH’s interdisciplinary global health conference typically attracts about 1,500 attendees from academia, business, government and non-government organizations from more than 50 counties around the world.

CUGH Executive Director Dr. Keith Martin presented a major address at the AAVMC’s 2014 annual conference on “One Health.”



Record Number of Students at 2015 AAVMC Career Fair


An information session on preparing to apply to veterinary medical school.

About 500 prospective veterinarians and guests—the highest number in five years—attended the AAVMC’s 2015 Career Fair at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. this March.

Students thronged around display tables staffed by 17 veterinary medical college representatives, including admissions officers and deans, as well as additional tables staffed by representatives of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

In the exhibition hall, eager students and their parents asked questions and picked up informational materials about schools, admissions requirements, and veterinary careers. They also waited in line to sign up for Pathways, the AAVMC’s informational e-newsletter for prospective veterinarians.

After spending time in the exhibition hall, students attended information sessions on preparing to apply to veterinary school, selecting an undergraduate pre-vet program, a personal story of one speaker’s unorthodox career path, and an overview of zoo, wildlife and conservation medicine.

Dr. Beth Sabin from the AVMA told students about how her early interest in science and animals eventually led to an enjoyable veterinary medical career that allowed her to participate in molecular biology research, as well as working as the AVMA’s assistant director in the Education and Research Division, assistant editor in the Publications Division, and now as associate director for International and Diversity Initiatives.

"My career path is not typical, but there’s a big world out there, so never say never and keep your opportunities open," she said.

Her advice echoed that of the AAVMC’s Dr. Ted Mashima, who entertained students with stories about his earlier career as a zoo veterinarian, where he treated everything from giraffes to cockroaches. Today, Dr. Mashima is the AAVMC’s associate executive director for Academic and Research Affairs. "When I first started out working at a zoo, I was the best bucket cleaner they had," said Mashima, who encouraged students to excel at whatever they do and to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise.

During information sessions, students could earn t-shirts that said, "I am a Future Veterinarian" by asking or answering questions.

"How can I successfully become a veterinarian when it’s so competitive and so many people are focused on it from a young age?” one student asked. "That's the hype,” replied Dr. Sabin, "But I’m a perfect example that you don’t have to fit the normal profile. I applied to veterinary medical school later that most. Don’t let the hype stop you."



Maccabe Discusses AAVMC, Professional Issues at National SAVMA Meeting

Dr. Andrew Maccabe addressing SAVMA.

Today’s students will shape the future of veterinary medicine. They need good information about major issues and a working understanding of the role the AAVMC plays in the profession.

Paradoxically, however, many know very little about the AAVMC. In an effort to help veterinary students learn more about the AAVMC, Executive Director Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe made two major presentations at the 2015 SAVMA annual meeting in Minneapolis.

Dr. Maccabe screened the AAVMC’s new “Fifty and Forward” anniversary video during a meeting with the SAVMA House of Delegates and engaged in an hour-long dialogue with student leaders on issues that included accreditation, student debt and workforce issues.

Dr. Maccabe also greeted and shared the video with 1200 student registrants gathered during one of the meeting’s plenary sessions.

The AAVMC helped sponsor the annual meeting, and shared information about the organization and its 50th anniversary celebration in very registration packet.



AAVMC Joins New Human/Animal Bond Coalition

The AAVMC has joined an emerging coalition of organizations seeking to elevate awareness and support of the tangible health benefits of the human/animal bond.

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) is leading efforts to organize the group, which will support Congressional initiatives that align pet ownership with federally recognized wellness practices. It will also seek to build public awareness and develop resources to advance the health and wellness benefits of the human/animal bond.

Decades of research have demonstrated that pet ownership exerts a measureable, beneficial effect on health, wellbeing and quality of life. Companion animals also play important clinical roles in assisting patients suffering from maladies ranging from autism to PTSD.

The Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation is a non-profit research and education organization that is gathering, funding and sharing the scientific research that demonstrates the positive health impacts of animals on people.

Robert L. Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association, serves as HABRI president. Other board members include executives from companies such as Zoetis and Petco.



AAVMC’s “Fifty and Forward” Anniversary Celebration Underway



The AAVMC debuted two new videos and announced a yearlong 50th Anniversary Celebration during their annual conference in Washington, D.C., March 13-14. The observation seeks to commemorate 50 years of public service and foster future success. The theme of the celebration is "Fifty and Forward."

"We’re proud of all that has been accomplished, but the purpose of the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration is much more than an effort to commemorate this very important milestone in the history of the organization," said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and chair of a 12-member 50th Anniversary Planning Committee that has been working for more than a year to develop the project. "What we hope to do with this celebration is illuminate the critical role academic veterinary medicine is playing in the modern world and build greater awareness and support for what we do."

The committee decided to mount a year-long celebration of academic veterinary medicine that begins with the March 2015 annual conference and ends with the March 2016 annual AAVMC Conference – the 50th year of service (1966-2016).

During the opening ceremony, officials shared a six-minute anniversary video that highlights the impact of academic veterinary medicine and outlined a series of special events and communication programs developed as part of the celebration. A 30-second television public service announcement (PSA) member colleges and schools can market to commercial television stations was also introduced.

Plans were announced for two commemorative publications. A special 50th anniversary edition of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education in Fall 2015 will examine the AAVMC’s 50-year body of work from a more scholarly perspective. And noted veterinary medical historian and former Cornell Dean Dr. Don Smith will author a history book to be published in early 2016.

The cover of those publications will feature an anniversary painting by Georgia artist John Ahee, which was also unveiled at the meeting.

AAVMC officials said the anniversary campaign features both a national and a grassroots engagement strategy. AAVMC officials will work with Congress, federal agency officials, corporate partners and allied veterinary organizations. Colleges and schools will work at the state and regional level to advance the anniversary program.

The AAVMC website home page has been refreshed and a 50th anniversary section has been constructed. A portfolio of promotional ads for the anniversary suitable for use in digital and print publications has been created for use by member institutions and stakeholders. A sample resolution has been developed for members to use as a template at the state level to garner formal resolutions of recognition and support from state legislatures, state veterinary medical associations and other organizations.

As deans make presentations about their schools and the anniversary, resolutions of support and recognition are passed and presented, and other anniversary activities take place, news will be posted on the website and a variety of social media platforms.

A concluding gala celebration in March 2016 will feature distinguished guests from throughout the profession, federal government agency and Congressional leaders, and executives from major corporations working in animal and human health. That event will feature the announcement of the 50th Anniversary Grand Initiative, a transformational project conceived to help member institutions and the profession create momentum and progress.

For more information about the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, please contact Jeff Douglas at jdouglas@aavmc.org.



National Action Plan for AMR Announced

The Obama administration announced their comprehensive “National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” on March 27.

Dr. Lonnie King, chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) /Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture praised the scope and timing of the plan.

"The APLU/AAVMC Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture applauds the White House’s plan to prevent and contain antibiotic resistant infections,” said King. “This is a serious public health issue that warrants the type of comprehensive response that will fully engage the scientific expertise of researchers and educators at our nation’s land-grant universities and veterinary colleges."

The five-point plan seeks to:
  • Slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of infections
  • Strengthen national one-health surveillance efforts to combat resistance.
  • Advance the development of diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria
  • Accelerate R&D for new antibiotics, other therapeutics and vaccines
  • Improve international collaboration for prevention, surveillance, control and R&D
King noted the plan appropriately acknowledges the need for increased research that will help develop a better understanding of how bacteria function and evolve and the new drugs that will be needed to combat them. The plan also acknowledges the critical importance of agriculture and veterinary medicine as essential partners in implementing a national strategy.

"Our task force, which has involved observers from key federal agencies, has been working to help identify and guide the federal government’s research agenda as we look for solutions to address antimicrobial resistance in production agriculture,” he said. “Moving forward, land-grant universities will also play a key role in helping to better inform producers, veterinarians, and the general public about antibiotic resistance and the appropriate responses."

The APLU and the AAVMC announced the creation of the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture in fall 2014.

The task force includes representatives from U.S. agriculture colleges/land grant universities and veterinary colleges as well as key representatives from the production animal agriculture community and the pharmaceutical industry. The goal of the task force is to help advise the federal government on a research agenda and also help publicly disseminate information on the use of antibiotics in production agriculture.



Ebola Whole Virus Vaccine Safe, Effective in Primates


The Ebola virus
An Ebola whole virus vaccine has been shown to effectively protect monkeys exposed to the virus. A group led by Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, an expert on avian flu and other viruses from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Veterinary Medicine, developed the vaccine, which differs from many other viruses in that it uses an inactivated, whole virus that primes the host immune system with the full complement of Ebola viral proteins and genes. The research group published their results in the March 26 edition of the journal Science. Learn more.

Note: The above story is part of a series of stories that the AAVMC highlights in the Vet-Med Educator on a regular basis from member institutions that demonstrate the many benefits of federal investment in schools and colleges of veterinary medicine.



Academic Veterinary Medicine in the News

Penn Vet Team Points to New Colon Cancer Culprit
MedicalXpress
Impractical' to use Medical Detection Dogs? Wrong
The Telegraph
AAVMC Celebrates 50 years in Veterinary Education
DVM360
Recombinant Virus Used to Treat Rabies in Mice
JAVMA News
Dr. Ruby Perry Appointed Tuskegee Dean
WebVet
Smithfield Gift Supports Virginia Tech Research Targeting Swine Health
Pork Network
Tornquist Steps into New Role as Oregon State Dean
JAVMA News
King Leaving Ohio State this Fall
JAVMA News
487 Students Awarded $974,000 in Scholarships Through the 2015 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program
BusinessWire
$300K Grant Benefits MSU Veterinary College
WTVA
Cornell's Farm Animal Hospital Gets New Name
Veterinary Practice News
Georgia's New Teaching Hospital Now Open
Veterinary Practice News
Kansas State Researchers Develop Mastitis Test
Veterinary Practice News
Purdue, Shelby County Inch Closer to Centaur Regional Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center Becoming a Reality
Shelbyville News
Merck Scholarship Program Recognizes 34 Vet Students
Beef Magazine



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