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A call for change: Addressing the lack of diversity in veterinary schools and beyond
In a recent interview with dvm360®, Mariana A. Pardo, BVSc, MV, DACVECC, offers support and guidance to veterinary students of color who are struggling with the lack of diversity in the industry.
As veterinary schools reopen, students of color are faced with the challenges of pursuing a career in an almost all-white profession. In a recent dvm360® interview, Mariana Pardo, BVSc, MV, DACVECC, encouraged students who are struggling from the lack of diversity to embrace who they are and their heritage by joining a diverse veterinary organization that understands and supports them.
“When it comes to students of color, I think the most important thing is to embrace where you are from. There are so many young students that have created some of these niche veterinary medical associations like the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA), BlackDVM Network, and there are so many different types of associations right now,” Pardo told dvm360® staff.
“[There is also] the Association of Asian Veterinary Medical Professionals (AAVMP), so really try to find your group and people who understand who you are,” she continued.
According to Pardo, these niche organizations are filled with individuals who can support and understand what you are experiencing or feeling, thus helping you celebrate who you are and your roots. Surrounding yourself with people who can empathize and relate to you also helps with navigating the murky waters of being an underrepresented student.
“[The members of these associations] will understand what we are going through, what challenges we have, [and] the discrimination we have felt at times so having that group and that support system of someone that can walk you through it and give you advice on what to do if that happens to you will be so important for you to get through those situations,” Pardo expressed.
To learn more, watch the full interview below.