Winter  2012                                                                 Issue 6  

News from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges


Register soon to qualify for the $50 early bird discount that's available to attend the 2012 AAVMC Annual Conference. Register by Friday, Feb. 10, to pay the optimal price for this premier conference in academic veterinary medicine. The 2012 AAVMC Annual Conference -- it's not just for deans anymore.

Attendees will address critical issues in academic veterinary medicine, learn best practices, and get a progress report on efforts to address the veterinary medical profession's economic challenges. Learn more and watch our video or register now.

Also, learn about some groundbreaking research under way in the area of tissue regeneration, the availability of some free research-related lectures, academic veterinary medicine in the news and more, in this winter edition of News from the AAVMC.
CVMs, AAVMC, AVMA Join to Tackle the Profession's Economic Challenges 

In January, nearly 70 leaders, representing 35 veterinary medical colleges, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the AAVMC met at an economic summit in Orlando, Florida, to explore solutions to the challenges facing the veterinary medical profession and veterinary medical colleges. Workforce concerns, educational debt, demand for clinical veterinary services, and public support of veterinary medical education were discussed and will be among the issues addressed in an upcoming series of meetings beginning in March.

Over the past two years, $104 million in state funding for veterinary medical education has been cut. As a result, tuitions have, on average, doubled over the past 10 years ($9,134 in 2001 for in-state students to $18,326 in 2011). In addition, the true overall cost of attending a veterinary medical program is about $41,000 per year, leaving students with an average debt of more than $140,000.

"There are a number of economic issues, pressures, and stresses impacting the profession, including cuts in state funding to veterinary schools and a decrease in the public's utilization and perceived value of our services," explains Dr. Rene Carlson, AVMA president. "The challenges before us are complex, yet there are great potential opportunities for increased animal health and welfare if we pursue them."

"I think we need to fight to sustain and garner public support, but we will also have to start looking at alternative funding sources and educational models if we want to maintain quality," says Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, AAVMC president and dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. "We also need to work with other stakeholders of academic veterinary medicine to find ways to increase student financial aid."

Progress reports will be released periodically to AVMA and AAVMC members.

Attend the Premier Conference for Academic Veterinary Medicine

The 2012 AAVMC Annual Conference -- it's not just for deans anymore!

The conference will have a focus on some persistent and critically important issues in academic veterinary medicine that affect us all -- leadership development, academic food supply veterinary medicine, preventive pet healthcare, the future of medical clinical education, and more.

The conference also represents a great opportunity to network, discuss pressing topics, and meet with members of Congress to talk about the AAVMC's legislative agenda on issues of importance to the veterinary medical profession, education, and research. 

Won't you join us?

The conference will take place on Thursday, March 7, through Sunday, March 11, at the Westin Alexandria in Alexandria, Virgihnia, with easy access to Washington, DC. 

Register now for the $50 early bird discount.  The price will rise from $550 to $600 on Feb. 11.

Free Research Lectures Available from Morris Animal Foundation

Veterinarians from Morris Animal Foundation are available to travel to AAVMC member schools to lecture for one to five hours on the state of veterinary medical research, research careers, and future areas of greatest need in veterinary medical research.

The purpose of the lecture or lecture series is to provide a knowledge base so that students will be able to understand and evaluate scientific findings, and may be motivated to choose a career in research.

The Foundation will provide the lectures free of charge but requests reasonable compensation for travel and housing.

Three course topics are available:

The State of Veterinary Medical Research - The state of research largely depends on the state of research funding. This part of the lecture series will describe types, sources, scale, and amounts of funding.

Veterinary Careers in Research - Career planning for veterinary students has never been more important. This part of the lecture series will explore research careers in industry, human biotech, government, international organizations, and not-for-profits, as well as academic careers. Data on job availability, directions, and trends in employment and salary ranges will be presented.

Areas of Greatest Need - Areas of emphasis may include feeding the world of the 21st century, metabolic diseases of companion animals, genetic testing methodologies and how these new diagnostics will affect clinical practice, diseases of wildlife and how they impact both human and domesticated animal populations. This part of the course is intended to provide an overview of some of the massive problems faced by future generations, with an emphasis on those that veterinarians are in a unique position to address.

The lecturers are J. David Haworth, DVM, PhD, or Wayne Jensen, DVM, PhD, MBA. For more information, contact Dr. Haworth at dhaworth@morrisanimalfoundation.org.
One Health Advocates Have a New Way to Connect on Centralized Website 

The One Health Commission, a globally focused organization dedicated to the improved health of people, domestic animals, wildlife, plants, and the environment has launched a newly redesigned website where people can share accomplishments and ideas using the One Health approach for global health benefits. The site address is www.onehealthcommission.org.

The site's Resources section lists organizations from around the world that are pursuing One Health initiatives and activities.

The One Health Commission site encourages organizations to submit additional information on website links that will benefit the One Health movement. "We are seeking information about organizations with a One Health focus; One Health events and conferences; case studies of One Health successes; news highlights; anything of note in One Health," said Dr. Roger Mahr, chief executive office of the One Health Commission.

Academic Veterinary Medicine in the News

Vet School Surge 

In This Issue
Stakeholders Attend Economic Summit, Plan Progress Reports
Register Now for AAVMC Conference
Free Research Lectures Available
Where One Health Advocates Can Connect
Academic Veterinary Medicine in the News
Veterinary Perspective Contributes to Ground-breaking Research

Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholarship Symposium to Feature Former NIH Director

Dr. Elias Zerhouni, president of Sanofi Research and Development and former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be the keynote speaker at the Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholars Program, hosted by
Colorado State University (CSU), August 2-6.

The symposium's mission is to expose veterinary medical students in their first or second year of veterinary school to biomedical research and career opportunities in research. At the symposium, veterinary medical students from all over the United States and Canada meet to present their research findings and share experiences from their various programs. The symposium includes presentations by and networking opportunities with invited veterinary scientists, researchers, and faculty members.

The AAVMC is a proud co-sponsor of the symposium.


Veterinarian's Discoveries Promise Game-Changing Advancements in Healing


Badylak Dr. Stephen Badylak


When people ask Dr. Stephen Badylak what he does for a living, he has a simple answer:
"I make body parts."

The more complicated answer is that he's a veterinarian, physician, and pathologist who is also a research professor in the Department of Surgery and director of tissue engineering at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, where he takes a novel approach to healing that involves use of a biologic scaffold material to reconstitute missing or injured soft tissue, initiate wound healing, and stimulate tissue regeneration.

Dr. Badylak has discovered a way to circumvent the body's inflammation and scarring response, recruit its own stem cells, and regrow lost tissue, complete with blood vessels and nerves. 


He believes that the comprehensive perspective of veterinary medicine can engender a mindset or approach that leads to groundbreaking discoveries, and he strongly encourages veterinary students to pursue medical research, especially regenerative medical research, because of both the field's incredible growth potential and the unique, comparative foundation that a veterinary medical education provides.


Learn more. 


Anton Hoffman of Texas A&M Receives 2011 Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award

Professor and veterinarian Anton Hoffman of Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been chosen by the AAVMC to receive the 2011 national Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, the most prestigious teaching award in veterinary medicine in the United States. The award will be presented at the AAVMC annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday, March 9, 2012.

In nominating Dr. Hoffman for the award, Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, professor and associate dean for undergraduate education at Texas A&M, wrote, "In Dr. Hoffman's hands, the static subject of gross anatomy comes alive. He teaches not only the basics that can be found in textbooks but also the real-world relevance of the topics covered."

Beyond conveying information, Hoffman believes that good teachers also teach their students how to use and find information, learn on their own, and ask questions. His philosophy is summed up by one of his favorite quotes about teaching, by Thomas Carruthers: "A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary."

Share the AAVMC's New Admissions E-bulletin

The new Pre-Vet Advisor includes
important information about applying for financial aid, and the ins and outs of admissions decisions and deposits.

Share it with prospective students!


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Register as an exhibitor at the largest veterinary medical recruiting event in the nation.

: AAVMC's Veterinary Educator Collaborative Symposium, July 27-28, Colorado State University

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