The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
(AAVMC) provides leadership for and promotes excellence in academic veterinary medicine to prepare the veterinary workforce with the scientific knowledge and skills required to meet societal needs through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. AAVMC pursues its mission by providing leadership in: Advocating on behalf of academic veterinary medicine; Serving as a catalyst and convener on issues of importance to academic veterinary medicine; Providing information, knowledge and solutions to support members' work; and Building global partnerships and coalitions to advance our collective goals.
During 2009, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), in looking to the future of veterinary medical education and ensuring that the profession is positioned to meet societal needs, organized and launched the North American Veterinary Educational Consortium (NAVMEC).
NCRR Training Programs for Veterinarian Scientists
Veterinarians play a critical role in biomedical research. To encourage and support careers in veterinary science, the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) offers several training and professional development opportunities.
The Predoctoral T32 Training Program is available at select universities that have received an Institutional Training Award from NCRR. The grant supports a year of research in a biomedical laboratory. This training can occur at any point during veterinary school.
The Summer T35 Training Program is available at select institutions that have received an Institutional Training Award from NCRR. The grant provides summer research experiences after the first or second year of veterinary school. Students who discover that they have an affinity for research through their summer T35 project can apply to renew their funding.
The Postdoctoral T32 Training Program is available at select universities that have received an Institutional Training Award from NCRR. These awards pay veterinarians' stipends for up to three years of research. NCRR funds about 90 veterinarians in various levels of training every year through this program.
The Clinical and Translational Science Awards Mentored Career Development Program (KL2) provides salary support and protected time for highly qualified junior faculty to conduct multidisciplinary clinical or translational research. The purpose of the KL2 program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to address the nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. The award is for a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years.
The Special Emphasis Research Career Award in Pathology and Comparative Medicine (K01) enables graduate veterinarians with experience in research to become independent biomedical investigators in research that is related to comparative medicine. This award includes salary as well as up to $20,000 in research support.
Exploring Veterinary Career Options
The following list is not exhaustive but provides an overview of careers where graduates of veterinary medical schools can effectively apply their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees.
Private practice, either general practice or (with advanced training and experience) a specialty field, such as ophthalmology, orthopedics, aquatic animal medicine, marine biology, wildlife animal medicine, or emergency animal medicine.
Corporate veterinary medicine, for example, with corporations that provide veterinary care, test human drugs for safety, or produce animal-related products.
The Federal Government employs veterinarians through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) working on biosecurity, environmental quality, public health, meat inspection, regulatory medicine, and agricultural animal health, or the investigation of disease outbreaks.
The U.S. Army Corps and U.S. Air Force offer career opportunities in areas such food safety and military working dog veterinary medicine. The military also provides advanced training in specialty areas for those who commit to service.
Research, either in a university setting or with companies that produce animal-related products or pharmaceuticals.
Teaching, either in academia or non-professionals schools. With 40 percent of aging faculty in academia eligible for retirement over the next 10 years, projections indicate an increasing need for qualified academics to teach in all disciplines of veterinary medicine.
Public Health, particularly with governmental agencies such as the United State Public Health Service, which works to control the transmission of animal-to-human (zoonotic) diseases.
Food supply medicine, with either the government or a food animal company.
Global Veterinary Medicine, in private practice or with international agencies working in areas such as food production and safety or emerging diseases.
Public Policy, working for governments on animal and zoonotic diseases, animal welfare, public health issues, or as consultants with non-governmental agencies.
Shelter medicine, working with communities,and private or public agencies to ensure the health and well being of animal populations housed in shelters.
There are additional opportunities available with state and municipal governments, nonprofits, and in areas that require a background in comparative medicine.
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