AAVMC Diversity Initiatives

AAVMC Diversity Initiatives

Enhancing Diversity in the Profession


Racism is a public health issue, and every sector of society has a role to play in finding a cure. Here's what the AAVMC is doing.

Developing a professional veterinary medical workforce that is more reflective of the diverse tapestry of ethnic, racial, and underrepresented and disadvantaged groups that characterize modern society has been a core goal of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) for more than 30 years.

The AAVMC defines underrepresented in veterinary medicine (URVM) as populations of individuals whose advancement in the veterinary medical profession have historically been disproportionately impacted by six specific aspects of diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, and geographic, socio-economic and educational disadvantage) due to legal, cultural or social climate impediments.

The AAVMC has been a pioneering leader in promoting diversity for the entire veterinary medical profession. Substantial progress has been achieved through innovative programs such as Di Versity Matters.

DIVERSITY - Di Versity Matters

AAVMC Diversity InitiativesThe AAVMC is actively advocates for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented persons as students and faculty and ultimately fostering their success in veterinary medicine. Contrary to societal trends, veterinary medicine remains one of the least diverse professions in the United States.  However, through the Di Versity Matters efforts to attract a student body that is more reflective of society as a whole have produced positive results in diversification of the applicant pool. The number of racially and/or ethnically underrepresented students continues to grow and has increased 64% since the 2005 launch of the Di Versity Matters initiative.

This initiative focuses on:

  • conducting career fairs
  • disseminating information about veterinary career options
  • generating interest in veterinary medicine
  • attending key diversity meetings and conferences
  • helping lead students through the application process

Diversity & Inclusion on Air: Conversations about Diversity, Inclusion & Veterinary Medicine.

Diversity & Inclusion on Air is designed to deliver more programming to a wider audience. As a partnership between AAVMC and VOICE, this web-based diversity programming will be held on a monthly basis using Google Hangouts, a free, interactive online program.

Each month Lisa Greenhill, Associate Executive Director for Institutional Research and Diversity at AAVMC, will host different speakers for presentations and interviews on diversity topics and program for approximately an hour. Participants/viewers will be able to access the program live, post questions, engage in a chat room and during the program. At the end of the program, the session will automatically upload to YouTube for later viewing.

Access the program: Diversity & Inclusion on Air

Iverson Bell Symposium and Award

The bi-annual Iverson Bell Award recognizes the outstanding leadership and promotion of diversity in veterinary medicine by the late Iverson Bell, DVM. The bi-annual nomination period opens in September and closes in mid-October, and the award is presented at the AAVMC Annual Conference. Learn more about the Iverson Bell Award.

Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship

The Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship recognizes veterinary students who have demonstrated exemplary promise as future leaders and have made significant contributions to enhancing diversity and inclusion in academic veterinary medicine. The annual nomination period opens in September and closes in mid-October. Learn more about the nomination submission process.

AAVMC Diversity Committee

AAVMC Diversity CommitteeThe Diversity Committee is charged with developing, promoting and participating in activities which create inclusive environments for all constituents at AAVMC member institutions. The committee provides and requests relevant information on related initiatives and programs, develops awareness activities and diversity related meetings and symposia to support the AAVMC DiVersity Matters initiative.


Lisa Greenhill
Associate Executive Director for Institutional Research and Diversity