The AAVMC affirms the value of diversity within the veterinary medical profession. The membership is committed to incorporating that belief in its actions by advocating the recruitment and retention of underrepresented persons as students and faculty and ultimately fostering their success in veterinary medicine.
Contrary to societal trends, veterinary medicine remains one of the least diverse professions in the United States. However, our efforts to attract a student body that is more reflective of society as a whole have resulted in diversification of the applicant pool. The number of racially and/or ethnically underrepresented students currently stands at 17.4 percent of total enrollment. That figure continues to grow and has increased 134 percent since the 2005 launch of the DiVersity Matters initiative.
To achieve results, we conduct career fairs, disseminate information about veterinary career options, work to generate interest in veterinary medicine, present at key diversity meetings and conferences, and help lead students through the application process.
Recently, we concluded the DiVersity Matters Culture and Climate Initiative, a survey and analysis designed to assist our member institutions in assessing the climate in their colleges of veterinary medicine with respect to diversity.
At our annual conference, we also host the bi-annual Iverson Bell Symposium, which recognizes the outstanding leadership and promotion of diversity in veterinary medicine by the late Iverson Bell, DVM.