October 2019
"Catalyze 2020: Innovate and Inspire” Registration Opens October 15
Registration opens October 15 for the 2020 AAVMC Annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The theme for this year’s conference is “Catalyze 2020: Innovate and Inspire.” The AAVMC’s annual conference is considered one of the leading professional development events in international academic veterinary medicine. Hundreds of educators and other leaders from the veterinary medical profession are expected to gather for the three-day forum. Please stay tuned to the website for registration information and early registration incentives.
AAVMC, APLU Team up to Present Gene Editing Symposium
Advancements in biotechnology have now made it possible to manipulate the genomes of agricultural animals and plants in a way that dramatically limits disease and increases productivity. But ethical questions and appropriate regulatory processes must be fully considered before these technologies can be applied to their full potential. To help facilitate that process, the AAVMC and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) teamed up to present “ Gene Editing in Livestock: Looking to the Future,” September 24-25. The meeting featured 23 of the nation’s leading experts from academia, government, industry, and professional groups. Read more.
Number of Applicants for 2020 VMCAS Cycle Up Six Percent
The number of applicants applying to member institutions through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) continues its steady rise. A total of 8,645 students applied for seats during the Class of 2024, a rise of about six percent over last year. A total of 41,722 applications were submitted, with applicants applying to an average of 4.83 schools. Last year, the number of applicants rose about seven percent over the year before. For the two years prior, a six percent year-over-year increase was noted. Read more.
New Director of Admissions and Recruitment Affairs Joins the AAVMC
Diana Dabdub is the AAVMC’s new Director of Admissions and Recruitment Affairs. Dabdub, who assumed her duties on September 16, brings over 19 years of association management experience to her new role. She comes to the AAVMC from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). In her new position, she will develop and implement programs and initiatives related to admissions and recruitment activities at AAVMC member institutions and serve as project manager/staff liaison on special projects that support the AAVMC’s strategic goals. “I’m looking forward to using my experience working with members and using that to move veterinary medical school admissions and the entire profession forward,” she said.
Evaluating the Depth of Quality in the 2018 AAVMC Applicant Pool
Class sizes in many member institutions have been enlarged in recent years, and new colleges of veterinary medicine have been established in Tennessee and Arizona. As a result, both the total number of incoming students and graduates is on the rise. This has led many to consider several questions. Is the applicant pool of sufficient size and quality to sustain the increased capacity? Is the employment market robust enough to provide high quality career opportunities? How will this affect the compelling need for the profession to increase diversity? The AAVMC and the Animal Policy Group commissioned researcher Dr. James W. Lloyd of Animal Health Economics, LLC to examine the issue. Click here to read his analysis.
PCVE Symposium Advances Primary Care
More than 80 representatives from 41 veterinary medical schools attended the Primary Care Veterinary Educators Symposium September 12-15 at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, Washington. Topics included presentations on activities underway at several AAVMC institutions in the area of small-animal primary care veterinary education, poster presentations highlighting pedagogical innovation and research in the area of primary care veterinary education. Conference organizer Dr. Raelynn Farnsworth, Clinical Associate Professor of Veterinary Clinical Science at Washington State, said the PCVE meeting is “the highlight of the year for primary veterinary educators.” The symposium was generously supported by Boehringer Ingelheim, IDEXX, the Stanton Foundation and Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Read more.
Financial Literacy & Behavioral Change? Not Necessarily Connected
With escalating concerns about rising educational debt among recent DVM graduates, there are loud calls to increase the levels of financial literacy of DVM students. Colleges of veterinary medicine have created numerous opportunities to help veterinary students learn more about money and debt management. The natural assumption is that greater levels of financial literacy will lead to better financial decision-making in terms of debt acquisition and debt retirement. However, a closer look at the professional literature concerning financial literacy and behavioral change suggests that there is not a direct causal relationship between the two. The AAVMC’s Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity developed this Q&A on the topic.
AAVMC Planning Website Redesign
Websites are an organization’s digital business card. They project identity, build relationships, and serve as a focal point of connection and information flow. They play a critical role in how an organization relates to its stakeholders. With that in mind, the AAVMC has embarked upon a six-month project to redesign their website. The AAVMC is working with The Jake Group, an award-winning Washington, D.C. based agency that has experience working with health education associations. The new site is expected to be introduced in Spring 2020. Read more.
Register Now for the 2019 Veterinary Wellbeing Summit November 17-19
The 2019 Veterinary Wellbeing Summit will be held November 17-19, 2019 at the Loews Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. Themed "Putting the WE in Wellbeing," the meeting is sponsored by the AVMA, the AAVMC and Zoetis. The meeting will convene academic leaders, educators, students, practitioners, mental health professionals and others to consider the importance of individual and organizational wellbeing on campus and in the workplace. This year’s meeting will feature a presentation from Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Please click here more information and registration support. Read more.
AAVMC Guidelines for Service Animal Access to Veterinary Teaching Facilities
The use of service dogs and emotional support animals to assist people with disabilities has become commonplace. But a lack of standardization in the definition, training and certification of service animals - coupled with regulations codified in law by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - has created some confusing circumstances. The AAVMC Board of Directors created a Working Group to study the situation and make recommendations about how service dogs and emotional support animals should be handled in member institution Veterinary Teaching Hospitals. Those can be found here in the “ AAVMC Guidelines for Service Animal Access to Veterinary Teaching Facilities.”
Pet Night on Capitol Hill
Hundreds of pet industry leaders, elected officials and staffers gathered in the House Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill September 18 to celebrate pets and the human and animal bond. Congressmen Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) and Ted Yoho (R-Florida), veterinarians who chair the House Veterinary Caucus, each delivered remarks during the event. The “Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill” contest, which features the pets of Senators, Congressmen and staffers, again proved a crowd-pleaser. Please click here to see the winners. Hosted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), the Pet Leadership Council (PLC), and the Pet Food Institute, the event was made possible by many other sponsors, including the AAVMC. Read more.
USAID Award Supports New Project Led by UC Davis One Health Institute
The One Health Institute at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, along with consortium partners, will receive up to $85 million over the next five years to enhance global health security.
The grant, from the U.S. Agency for International Development, is to implement the One Health Workforce—Next Generation project. The project will strengthen the capacity of university networks and their member institutions in Africa and Southeast Asia by developing and delivering sustainable training and programs to quickly respond to complex health problems and disease threats using a One Health approach. Read more.
2020 Global Animal Welfare Award Nominations Deadlines 11/1 and 11/15, 2019
Nominations for the World Veterinary Association’s Global Animal Welfare Awards are now open. The deadline for nomination materials is two-fold: required letters of support from the AVMA must be requested by November 1 and the final nomination materials must be submitted by noon, Belgian time, on November 15. Three veterinarians, one veterinary student, one veterinary technician or nurse, and one school or college of veterinary medicine from nominations received from around the world will be selected by the WVA as honorees. Recipients will be recognized at a gala presentation on Monday, April 6, 2020, during the 36th World Veterinary Association Congress in Auckland, New Zealand. Travel and accommodation expenses to the Congress will be provided for winners. For more detailed information about the nomination process, please click here.
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.
Academic Veterinary Medicine in the News

Veterinary Practice News
Dairy Business
Microbiome Times
Augusta Free Press
The Equine Chronicle
Stamford Advocate
Dallas Daily News
Tampa Bay Times
The Star Phoenix
Daily Herald
Augusta Free Press
Boston Globe
Veterinary Practice News
Veterinary Practice News
New York Times
People in Motion

Dr. Bryan Slinker, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University (WSU), has been named as WSU's Interim Provost and Executive Vice President. His new role begins immediately and extends through June 30, 2020.

Dr. Giselle Hosgood has assumed the role of Interim Principal at the Murdoch University School of Veterinary and Life Sciences in Australia, effective September 25, replacing Dr. Cristy Secombe.

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