Journal Of Veterinary Medical Education

Volume 21, Number 2
Fall, 1994



RECRUITMENT AND FUNDING OF GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN VETERINARY MEDICINE
Larry Glickman, Chair

CHANGE AND RESPONSE TO CHANGE

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