Vet-Med Educator – November 2019

November 2019

Two AAVMC Members Earn Diversity HEED Awards

Two AAVMC member institutions have been awarded the 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. It’s the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.

Honorees include the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Both schools have won the award for the past three consecutive years.

“Congratulations to these colleges for earning this prestigious award,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “All of our members are committed to building diversity and inclusion on campus, but these schools have demonstrated an extraordinary, continuous level of excellence when it comes to fostering diversity and inclusion.”

The award, which is open to all colleges and universities of the health professions across the U.S. and Canada, is based upon a comprehensive assessment of an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

It includes medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers. A total of 43 institutions received awards.

HEED Award administrators say one of the goals of the application process is to help institutions of higher education assess their diversity efforts in a way that helps them recognize and build upon their success and identify opportunities for improvement.

The award is judged by representatives of Potomac Publishing, Inc., publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

Two Veterinarians from AAVMC Member Institutions Elected to National Academies

Two leaders from AAVMC member institutions have been inducted into the prestigious National Academies. Dr. Stuart Reid, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and Dr. Susan Vandewoude, Associate Dean for Research at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Stuart Reid

Membership in the National Academies is limited to scientists, engineers and health professionals who have reached the highest levels of professional achievement and distinguished service.

Reid is a former AAVMC board member and secretary and VandeWoude has been active with the Research Committee.

Professor Stuart Reid is recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) as a specialist in veterinary epidemiology, as well as an expert in veterinary public health by the European Board of Veterinary Specialists. He was also appointed a Fellow of the RCVS during their most recent Fellowship Day.

Dr. Susan Vandewoude

A veterinarian, teacher and researcher, VandeWoude has specialized in studying conditions affecting cats, both big and small, including feline immunodeficiency virus, which can leave animals vulnerable to other infections.

Her discoveries are linked to both animal and ecological concerns, and the findings shed light on the emergence and spread of viruses in the human population. VandeWoude’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Morris Animal Foundation.

Established in 1863 during the Lincoln administration as the National Academy of Sciences, the non-profit, private organization exists to provide expert advice and counsel on scientific matters for the federal government and others.

Over the past 150 years, the organization has evolved to include the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Research Council. Its membership includes more than 300 Nobel laureates.

VMCAS Application Cycle Opens January 22, 2020

In a significant departure from past practice, the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) 2020/21 application cycle will open on January 22, 2020 and close on September 15, 2020. The cycle typically opens in May.

The change has been undertaken to make the process more convenient for applicants and provide them with more time to complete the various components of the application process, according to AAVMC Director of Admissions and Recruitment Affairs Diana Dabdub.

While the annual VMCAS application cycle is normally active for about four months, most applicants typically wait until the last minute to complete their applications. For example, during the 2018-19 cycle, 6,470 (79.4%) applicants waited until September to submit their applications, with 45% of applicants submitting during the final week.

The rush of activity at the end of the cycle condenses the time available for applicants to seek support and assistance and compile the various materials required for a complete application.
New this year, applicants will be able to begin compiling their application without needing to select a specific college or school. Specifically, they will be able to enter coursework, request letters of recommendation, and request transcripts.

On May 12, 2020, the veterinary schools will become available for applicants to select. At this time, applicants will be allowed to formally submit applications.

CBVE Group Evolves, Develops Content, Hones Strategy

The Competency Based Veterinary Education (CBVE) working group continues to evolve. The  group is honing its strategy for the future and some members have taken on new challenges and initiatives.  

The AAVMC created the CBVE Working Group in July 2015 to develop a modern competency based framework for veterinary education and clinical assessment. Since then, the group has released guidelines that include a framework, Entrustable Professional Activities, and milestones, found here.

Co-chair Dr. Laura Molgaard recently stepped down to serve as Interim Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kristin Chaney from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has stepped into the role of co-chair. Dr. Jennie Hodgson, associate dean for professional programs at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, continues as co-chair.

Dr. Jared Danielson from the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine recently joined the working group, specifically to help guide implementation of the study on Entrustable Professional Activities and workplace-based assessments. To date, 19 AAVMC-affiliated colleges and schools have indicated an interest in participating in this AAVMC-funded study, which will begin in early 2020.

Finally, the CBVE working group has been busy planning its next phase. The group met in Denver for a two-day Strategic Planning Workshop on October 5-6, 2019, facilitated by Educational Consultant Jody Frost. The group is working to align its strategic goals with those of the AAVMC’s, which is currently in the midst of an organization-wide strategic planning process expected to conclude in early 2020.

The CBVE group intends to focus on continued advances in CBVE implementation, from awareness to putting CBVE into practice within AAVMC member institutions, both nationally and internationally. The CBVE group’s three-year strategic plan will be finalized in November and submitted to the AAVMC Board of Directors by the end of the year.  

The CBVE Working group includes representatives from veterinary colleges and schools across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K. and some with experience from Australia.

Virtual Career Day Connects DVM Employers and Job Seekers

The Veterinary Career Advisor Network (VetCAN) will present a virtual career fair on Saturday, December 7, 2019.

The DVM Virtual Career Day provides a forum for employers to identify top-quality candidates and provides job-seeking students and alumni from AAVMC member institutions with the ability to review job opportunities from their desktop or mobile device.

Employers and interested job seekers can connect via pre-scheduled virtual meetings ranging from informational conversations to interviews.

Job seekers (both current DVM students and DVM alumni) from all accredited veterinary colleges are encouraged to attend and upload their resume by Saturday, November 9, 2019 to receive exclusive invitations from employers.  

Employers are hiring for full-time DVM positions, relief shifts, internships, residencies, externships, summer opportunities and more. Employers are encouraged to register early as candidates may fill their schedules quickly.

VetCAN is an AAVMC-affiliated organization founded in 2014 as a resource and network for career and professional development professionals working with veterinary students and alumni in AAVMC member institutions.

To register or obtain more information, click here.

AAVMC’s 2019 Annual Report Published

The AAVMC’s 2019 Annual Report has been published. The 24-page report, themed “Strategic Alignment,” includes updates on major program areas like admissions and recruitment, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, educational debt and other areas. Programmatic activity within each of the AAVMC’s enterprise-wide initiatives to Analyze, Catalyze and Advocate are also detailed. The report contains several infographics summarizing key data on application trends, graduation, enrollment and student debt. The report also contains an annual financial report. Read the report.

VEC Scheduled for June 21-23, 2020 in Manhattan, Kansas

The AAVMC’s Veterinary Educator Collaborative Symposium will be held June 21-23, 2020 in Manhattan, Kansas. Themed “It Takes a Village,” the symposium is being hosted by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. A registration site for the meeting will be created in the near future.

The Veterinary Educator Collaborative (VEC) provides online and face-to-face collaboration and sharing among veterinary medical educators. VEC focuses on planning, faculty development, and sharing best practices. The collaborative serves as a mechanism to address challenges in veterinary education and is open to all veterinary educators and the educationalists who support them.

CIVME Accepting 2020 Research Grant Proposals

The Council on International Veterinary Medical Education (CIVME) is accepting grant proposals for the fourth annual cycle of the CIVME Funding Program, which supports projects that promote international collaboration in veterinary medical education. Total project budgets should not exceed $10,000 and are limited to a maximum duration period of 24 months. The application deadline is January 30, 2020 at 11 a.m. EST.

Preference will be given to applications that represent collaborative efforts among institutions and across regions. Potential applicants interested in collaboration but lacking partners are invited to contact CIVME at for assistance.

Proposals will be evaluated on criteria that include relevance, impact, fit with CIVME goals, feasibility, risk analysis, and others. Funded proposals will be announced during the AAVMC’s annual conference in March 2020 and in other communications.

The Council on International Veterinary Medical Education (CIVME) is an AAVMC initiative that seeks to promote and share best practices in veterinary medical education around the world.

The council promotes:

  • Communication and collaboration that advances international veterinary medical education
  • Collaboration among educational researchers
  • Dissemination of innovations and other educational advances among international members

For detailed information and application instructions, click here.

Zoetis Scholarship Awards Deadline

Zoetis Inc. and the AAVMC are again partnering to provide scholarships to second- and third-year veterinary students in the United States and Caribbean through the 2020 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Awards program.

Scholarship recipients will each receive $2,000 for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year. Interested students can apply now through December 2nd at, or via the VETVANCE® mobile app, which is available for download from the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.  

To date, the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship program has awarded over 3,300 scholarships totaling more than $6.7 million.

“Zoetis remains committed to its long-standing mission of assisting veterinary students ease financial debt related to their education,” said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President, Veterinary Medical Services and Outcomes Research at Zoetis. “These awards have helped ameliorate some of the expenses related to a veterinary education and in many cases, enabled students to participate in other learning opportunities such as externships.”

Eligibility criteria include academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership and career interest. Scholarships will be awarded to students in all areas of professional interest, including food animal medicine, small animal clinical medicine, research, government services, public health, and organized veterinary medicine.

“The AAVMC is proud to be able to partner with Zoetis on this strategic program,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “Scholarship support has never played a greater role in the success and wellbeing of our DVM students, and we’re extremely grateful to Zoetis for the investment they are making in the future of the profession.”
Now in its eleventh year, the Veterinary Scholarship Award operates as part of Zoetis’ Commitment to Veterinarians™, a platform created by Zoetis to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians, while also helping to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education. Winners will be announced at the 2020 Student American Veterinary Medical Association Symposium.

To learn more about the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Award or to apply for a scholarship, register at or download the VETVANCE mobile app. VETVANCE is a free educational resource sponsored by Zoetis that provides veterinary students and recent graduates with online content relating to professional development, business skills, professional stewardship, financial literacy, personal wellness, and much more. 

HABRI Accepting Human-Animal Bond Research Proposals

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has opened its seventh request for proposals (RFP) to investigate the health and wellness outcomes of pet ownership and animal-assisted activities.

HABRI is a non-profit Washington, D.C. based organization that works to “establish, through science, education and advocacy, the vital role of companion animals in the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.”

The AAVMC is a long-time HABRI partner and encourages researchers with an interest in the human-animal bond to consider the opportunity.
For the second year in a row, Pet Partners has pledged significant, additional funding to investigate the health, education and wellness outcomes of animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and animals involved, according to HABRI Executive Director Steve Feldman. For more information, contact Feldman at or Lindsey Melfi at

Veterinary Debt Initiative (VDI) Round-Up

Educational debt in the United States is estimated at $1.6 trillion and looms as a significant economic threat for society at large, not just a generation of students. It’s a big problem in academic veterinary medicine as well, but a group of dedicated volunteers are working hard to help. Members of the Veterinary Debt Initiative, comprised of the AVMA, the AAVMC and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE), have been meeting regularly for almost two years. Their goal: to help veterinarians thrive in financially sustainable and rewarding careers. Click here to read the newest collection of stories in their periodic roundup.

In the News

Foundation Gives UW Vet School $15m for Building Project
US News & World Report

Cinder-Block is the Reluctant Poster Cat for a Pet Obesity Epidemic, Vets Say

Washington Post

Oklahoma State Rebrands Veterinary Program
Today’s Veterinary Business

LIU to Offer DVM Program Starting Next Fall
Veterinary Practice News

Veterinarians are Dying by Suicide at High Rates, Beset by Stress, Death, and Debt
Philadelphia Inquirer/MSN

Facing Mental Health Challenges, UMN Veterinary Students and Faculty Take Action  
Minnesota Daily

New Report Offers Data on Race/Ethnicity of Pell Grant Recipients
The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Purdue Researcher: World is Running Out of Antibiotics

Respiratory Diseases Linked With High Blood Pressure in Lungs
Science Daily

New PRRS Research Awarded $3 Million Grant to Predict and Prevent Outbreaks of the Virus
The Pig Site

UA Wins Approval to Launch Veterinary College

Texas A&M Dean to Move On

Researcher Finds Exercise Can Reduce Artery Stiffness Associated With Heart Failure

Testing New Therapies To Treat Diseases In Postpartum Dairy Cows

Study Reports Risk of African Swine Fever Entering U.S. has Doubled

Dogs and DNA Are on the Trail for Endangered Lizards
Technology Networks

Universal Flu Vaccine Developed at Cornell Nearing Human Trials
New York Ag

Institutional Change in the Whitest Profession in America: Veterinary Medicine

Canine Cancer Screening Test in the Works
Veterinary Practice News

From Our Members

Everything is Awesome: Student Creates LEGO Replica of Veterinary College
Cornell University

CVM Study Reveals a Key Way Your Gut Battles Infections
NC State

What a Difference a Yearling Makes

New Class of Scholars in Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas Announced
Kansas State University

PVM Faculty Pursue Developments in Personalized Medicine to Advance Cancer Treatments
Purdue University

Transformational Service Trips for Future Veterinarians
Tufts University

Fear Factor: Study to Explore What Drives Differences Between Men and Women
NC State

California Davis Faculty Member First Woman, First Veterinarian to Ever Lead Orthopedic Education Association
UC Davis

Stopping Disease in its Tracks: How Geospatial Mapping Protects Pennsylvania’s Producers
University of Pennsylvania

$11 Million Gift to Shape Future of Veterinary Care

University of Guelph

Therapy Dogs Give One Health Benefits
University of Saskatchewan

People in Motion

Dr. Shawkat Hailat has been named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. 

Dr. David Clark has been named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Western University of Health Sciences.

Dr. Gopal Reddy has been named Associate Dean for Research at the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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