Sustained Effort Required to Achieve Diversity & Inclusion Goals in Veterinary Medicine

Washington, D.C – September 25, 2019 – An analysis of the demographics of the current Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) applicant pool compared against existing Census Bureau Data suggests that a great deal of work remains to be done to diversify the profession, according to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).

View a demographic chart of the applicant pool here.

AAVMC Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Lisa Greenhill recently examined the applicant pool within the context of the broader population (see graph above) and published an addendum to the AAVMC’s current Public Data Report.

The analysis sought to generate some insight about future trends in the applicant pool based upon looking at the number of children under 18 and current college students in the United States.

The analysis produced some key insights, most of which suggest that academic veterinary medicine must work even harder than it has been to attract more racially/ethnically diverse candidates.

“Although efforts to improve the diversity in the applicant pool have resulted in a pool that is just over 20% racially/ethnically diverse,” Dr. Greenhill said, “we still see a trend in admitted students that disproportionately admits white students based on their relative representation in the pool.”

The population in undergraduate schools right now is much more diverse than the current  applicant pool in academic veterinary medicine, she said, which suggests that efforts to increase the diversity of the pool are necessary.

When looking long-term among the general population, the proportion of white children is shrinking based upon the current number of children under the age of 19.

“If veterinary medicine is going to have a sustained applicant pool feeding the profession, we must be committed to recruiting broadly and deeply in the demographic groups experiencing growth,” said Greenhill. “We can’t afford not to consider diversity recruiting based on the long-term demographic projections.”

Further, we need to continue the pursuit of admissions evaluations that consider the whole applicant and what they bring to both the academic environment as well as the veterinary profession, according to Greenhill.

The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 50 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Asia and New Zealand.

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Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson                                                                                       
Phone:  202/371-9195, x144                                                                                           
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