Pre-Vet Outreach and Recruitment
The school is working on many fronts to encourage diverse student populations in veterinary medicine. Efforts to increase the interest in math, science and especially veterinary medicine by high school and undergraduate college students is a key strategy for diversifying the veterinary community. Specific efforts include:
California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)
The School regularly participates in the COSMOS program for high school students in the “biomedical cluster.” This four-week residential program allows students who excel in math and science to work with veterinary and human medicine faculty and students to learn more about the fields. To date eight participants of this program have gone on to veterinary school.
Veterinary Medicine Exploration Academy
The academy, part of the UC Davis Early Academic Outreach Program, annually provides high school students with a first-hand look at the fields of study that make up veterinary medical education. This three-day program challenges students to engage and learn as participants in laboratory practical analysis, anatomy review, pathology, radiology and a variety of lectures presented by veterinary faculty, graduate students and staff.
Pre-Health Professions National Conference
The Pre-Health Conference is a national conference held annually at UC Davis in October for college students. The conference not only attracts students from northern and southern California, but the conference has also attracted students from across the nation. It provides community-college, university, post-bac students and pre-health advisors with the information and skills necessary to succeed in the health-professions school admission process. The goal is to educate and inspire California's youth. The conference is now attended by approximately 4,500 participants and is the largest pre-medical and pre-health professions gathering at an undergraduate institution, but also stands as the event of its kind, supporting underrepresented students interested in a career in medicine. The School helps to sponsor the event and has taken an active part in the conference to promote veterinary medicine career opportunities. Veterinary specialists give presentations, workshops, and a Pre-Health Fair provides a unique opportunity for direct contact with admission officers and an opportunity to interact with our current veterinary students. Emphasis is on the need for future DVM students to approach the field from a wide One Health approach.
Mentorship Programs (VOICE)
Members of the Pre-Vet Students Supporting Diversity (PSSD) organization, working with the Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE) chapter, have developed an exciting mentoring program to provide leadership and mentorship to disadvantaged students.
VOICE has established mentorship programs with UC Davis undergraduates and UC Berkeley undergraduates through their respective Pre-Vet clubs. With the knowledge that underrepresented populations often face unique obstacles when trying to get into the veterinary field, the goal of these mentorship programs is to provide underrepresented populations a chance for personalized mentoring by a veterinary student who might have gone through similar challenges. Interested undergraduates provide their contact information and some basic information about their interests to their Pre-Vet club officers, and interested VOICE members provide similar information to VOICE officers. Veterinary student mentors are then paired with pre-veterinary student mentees according to interests and background, and both students are provided with the other's contact information. The mentorship then depends entirely on the mentor/mentee relationship. They can decide what level of interaction they desire, from emailing every so often to meeting once a week to talk. Through the program, VOICE provides resources to interested students to help put them on an even playing field with other pre-veterinary students.
Veterinary student members of the PSSD organization also host several informal social events for pre-veterinary students each year. These events provide a forum for pre-veterinary students to meet their veterinary student mentors and mingled with a larger group of veterinary students where they conversed about veterinary school classes, internships abroad, and many other opportunities that the undergraduates can apply to further enhance their preparation for veterinary school.
Summer Enrichment Program
For more than 25 years the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) has offered disadvantaged students the opportunity to enhance their preparation to veterinary school through a five- week intensive summer program. The program provides 10 students the chance to obtain some veterinary experience through clinical rotations at the veterinary teaching hospital including: Community Medicine, Small Animal Surgery, Equine Medicine, Equine Surgery, CAPE (Exotics), Behavior, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and more. SEP students shadow the faculty and veterinary students for four hours each day (M-F). Additionally, students are provided resource materials and study sessions for preparation of the GRE. SEP mentors also provide personal statement reviews, resume building workshops, an admissions workshop, and valuable advice from veterinary students regarding their preparation for veterinary school.