Journal Of Veterinary Medical Education

Volume 21, Number 2
Fall, 1994

Larry Glickman, Chair


Larry Glickman, VMD, PhD

To open this discussion on issues in recruitment and funding of post-DVM trainees, I have chosen to present a list of problems or forces for change that graduate programs have been and still are facing. Also presented are suggestions of general responses for a generic program and then some comments specific to our program at Purdue University.

Forces for Change in Graduate Education

  • Depressed economic environment
    National: federal grants, industry relations
    State: university funding, industry relations
  • Shifting emphasis from basic to applied research at federal level
  • Shifting emphasis from long to short term research
  • Relatively poor starting salaries for veterinary graduates
  • Increased number of women in veterinary medical schools
  • Indebtedness of veterinary graduates
  • Decreasing value of MS degree for career in industry and academia
  • Internationalization of the economy and academic programs
  • Reorganization of cultural and ethnic diversity
  • Concerns for animal welfare and animal well-being
  • Consumer concerns for food safety
  • Focus on environmental health and genetic diversity

General Responses of Graduate Programs to External Forces

  • Development of collaborative programs with other departments, schools on campus, industry, etc.
  • Opportunities for research off-campus, e.g., in other countries, industry
  • Recruitment of minority and foreign students
  • Programs for spousal hiring or graduate training
  • Development of interdisciplinary research
  • Recognition of veterinarians as excellent postdoctoral candidates for graduate study by other schools and departments
  • Broader perspective on problems, e.g., global change, population health and preventive medicine, etc.

Responses specific to the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Purdue University

  • Increase of graduate student enrollment from 9 in 1988 to 50 in 1993 without any additional funding from the department
  • Development of a collaborative graduate program with major pharmaceutical companies
  • Increased emphasis on research within department through faculty development and hiring
  • Increased role of postdoctoral fellows, both veterinary and non-veterinary, in teaching and research
  • Acceptance of more nonveterinarians for graduate study
  • Increased administrative support for faculty in finding research support
  • Established loan fund for graduate students
  • Established new graduate study areas in epidemiology and animal welfare
  • Increased recruitment efforts to attract highest quality of students, e.g., brochures, advertising, national meetings, etc.
  • Pooled resources to provide more "core" graduate courses within the veterinary school and on campus, e.g., laboratory animal medicine, anatomy, physiology, epidemiology, animal well-being, pathology (the whole-animal approach and population health)
  • Separation of the pathology residency and PhD programs