Zoetis, AAVMC award 315 veterinary student scholarships

June 19, 2020
dvm360 Staff

Students will share $630,000 in scholarship funds, bringing the total awarded over the past 11 years to more than $7 million.

Zoetis, in concert with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), recently announced that it has awarded scholarships to 315 second- and third-year veterinary students through the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. As in previous years, the 2020 program provides each recipient with $2,000, with the total monies awarded amounting to $630,000.

“The Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program is a part of our Commitment to Veterinarians platform and is one of the ways we support students’ career paths in veterinary medicine,” Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM, chief medical officer and vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes research at Zoetis, said in a company press release. “The scholarship helps to alleviate the student debt load associated with a veterinary education.”

According to AAVMC data, the average debt load of veterinary students in 2019 was more than $170,000. “Earning a veterinary medical degree is challenging enough without the added stress of debt. Our goal with this scholarship is to help lessen the financial worries experienced by student veterinarians,” Dr. Jenkins said.

“Debt can have a significant impact on a veterinarian’s finances and life choices throughout their career,” AAVMC CEO Andrew Maccabe, DVM, MPH, JD, echoed. “We are proud to partner with Zoetis to award these scholarships to many exceptional veterinary students and help ease that burden.”

The Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program has awarded $7.3 million to more than 3,600 veterinary students in the past 11 years. This year, more than 1,200 applicants from universities throughout the United States and Caribbean were evaluated based on academic excellence, financial need, diversity, leadership and career interest. Scholarships were awarded to students entering all areas of the profession:

  • 34% are from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • 31% are studying mixed animal medicine
  • 12% are studying to practice food animal medicine
  • 26% are going into small animal practice
  • 4% are going into equine-exclusive clinical practice
  • 14% are entering academia, public health, government or industry
  • 12% will go into other areas such as lab animal, wildlife or zoo/exotic animal

Two-time scholarship recipient Courtney Hughes, a third-year veterinary student at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, used her first scholarship to begin building a future in emergency and critical care medicine. “As a 2019 scholarship recipient I used the funds to attend the 2019 International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium in Washington, D.C., where I connected with veterinary criticalists and learned more about this area of medicine in which I plan to practice,” she explained. “The 2020 award will allow me to complete externships in emergency medicine before applying for small animal rotating internships the following year.”