For the fourth consecutive year, Pfizer Animal Health and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) invite second- and third-year students of veterinary medicine to apply for the Pfizer Animal Health Scholarship. In an effort to help alleviate some of the burden of student debt, a minimum of 330 scholarships of $2,000 each will be awarded to assist students across various disciplines in veterinary medicine.
Scholarship recipients will be selected based on traditional scholarship selection criteria, such as academic excellence and financial need. In addition, the scholarship will focus on meeting the ongoing needs of the veterinary profession: increasing diversity among practitioners in ethnic heritage, gender, socioeconomic background, professional aspirations, and improving the availability of veterinarians to serve in areas of the profession that have increased demand.
“Pfizer recognizes that entering into this rewarding and critical profession does not come at a low cost,” said Vanessa Mariani, Director of Academic and Professional Affairs, U.S. Operations at Pfizer Animal Health. “In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 2,500 students graduated from veterinary schools with an average debt load nearing $140,000 in 2011.”
In 2013, Pfizer Animal Health will provide a minimum of $660,000 in student scholarships to eligible students in colleges of veterinary medicine in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Scholarships will be awarded to students in all areas of study, including food animal medicine, equine and small animal medicine, research, academia, and government services, among others. Award eligibility is subject to the guidelines established by individual schools.
“This scholarship is one way that Pfizer looks to help address the challenges within the veterinary profession to ensure that it has a thriving future,” said Mariani. “The first three years of this program have been very successful, as we awarded scholarships to students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds studying across a diverse array of species and veterinary disciplines.”
In 2012, the program awarded 331 students with scholarships. The group included:
· 31 percent from diverse backgrounds
· 47 percent studying to practice food and mixed animal veterinary medicine
· 28 percent going into small animal practice
· 8 percent entering academia (research and clinical)
· Remaining students going into other areas of practice, such as public health, lab animal medicine and poultry
“In part because of the Pfizer-AVMF scholarship, I was able to begin research this summer on the challenges veterinary students face and how a variety of factors – including Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) and other vital programs for veterinary school curricula – impact their success after graduation,” said 2012 scholarship recipient Tammy J. Oseid, a University of Minnesota DVM/MPH class of 2014 student. “The scholarship enabled me to take the time off of work this summer to begin investigating this area of great personal interest as well as potential benefit to the entire profession.”
The scholarship program is a part of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform—which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy. The scholarship complements a number of other Pfizer Animal Health programs supporting the veterinary profession, including millions invested in universities, industry education and training, scholarships, and allied organizations each year.