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Can veterinary medicine improve diversity in post-graduate training programs? Current state of academic veterinary medicine and recommendations on best practices.


The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) convened a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity working group in March 2021 to address the limited diversity (including but not limited to ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity) in clinical post-DVM graduate training programs and academic faculty. Concurrent with a working group formation, the AAVC developed a strategic plan. The central mission of the AAVC is to develop, support, and connect academic leaders to fuel the future of the veterinary medical profession. House officers and their training programs are central to all goals outlined in the strategic plan. Amongst other strategic goals, the working group identified best practices for intern and resident recruitment and selection. We report herein from the current health profession literature ways to identify and recruit talented, diverse candidates especially those with non-traditional (atypical) preparation and experience. We also provide recommendations on best practices for intern and resident selection. This document highlights holistic approaches, some of which are incrementally being incorporated into the Veterinary Intern Resident Matching Program application, that emphasize diversity as a selection criteria for intern and resident selection an important step towards building a more resilient and inclusive workforce. These include expanding candidate assessment beyond grades and class rank into a more standardized method for screening candidates that includes consideration of life experiences and talents outside of veterinary medicine.

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