This is according to an analysis of the demographics of the current Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), conducted by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).
Lisa Greenhill, EdD, the group’s senior executive director for institutional research and diversity, recently examined the VMCAS applicant pool within the context of the broader population, hoping for insight into the pool’s future trends based on the number of children under the age of 18 and current college students in the U.S.
Her analysis shows a discrepancy between the diversity of populations in undergraduate schools as compared to that of the current applicant pool in academic veterinary medicine.
This, Dr. Greenhill says, suggests those in the field must work harder to attract a larger number of racially/ethnically diverse candidates.
“Although efforts to improve the diversity in the applicant pool have resulted in a pool that is just over 20 percent racially/ethnically diverse, we still see a trend in admitted students that disproportionately admits white students based on their relative representation in the pool,” she says.
“If veterinary medicine is going to have a sustained applicant pool feeding the profession, we must be committed to recruiting broadly and deeply in the demographic groups experiencing growth,” Greenhill adds. “We can’t afford not to consider diversity recruiting based on the long-term demographic projections.”