CVMs have addressed the issue that clinical practice, especially small-animal (pet) practice, dominates the curriculum to the detriment of veterinary research.
Visibility, excitement, role models, and mentoring for research careers are all deficient. Freeman described a number of programs aimed at addressing these issues, many of which seem successful and all of which can be adopted or adapted for application at many of the nation’s CVMs.
The best science in CVMs often is supported by agencies (such as the National Institutes of Health) whose main interest is human health, leaving veterinary students wondering how this excellent basic science contributes to animal health and therefore is related to their career aspirations.
There are some welcome and appreciated opportunities for veterinary students to gain research experience, during both the summer months and the regular academic year, but they are too few and may fail to provide stipends sufficient to meet veterinary students’ financial needs.
The time and costs involved in obtaining adequate research training and experience after earning the veterinary degree seem to deter students from pursuing graduate education. There are too few sources of adequate support for combined PhD-DVM and post-DVM training.