Five prominent colleges of veterinary medicine located in the western U.S. recently convened to create the Consortium of Western Regional Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. The consortium was formed to collaborate in the advancement of initiatives critical to the future of the veterinary profession.
To ensure actions are put in place to address these priorities, representatives from each of the colleges created a regional think-tank with a commitment to action and mutual collaboration. Representatives, including the deans from Colorado State University, Oregon State University, Western University of Health Sciences, Washington State University and University of California at Davis, met in San Francisco this past October and created the consortium to pursue set objectives.
The inaugural meeting of the Consortium was funded and facilitated by Pfizer Animal Health (PAH) as part of the company’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 consortium collaborated on the following topics outlined as top priorities in veterinary medicine:
- Gaps between selected career tracks among veterinarians and societal needs.
- Targeted recruiting and professional readiness among graduating veterinarians.
- Learning and application of soft skills to keep veterinarians at the center of healthcare.
- Identifying and devising ways for academic institutions to share resources and create centers of excellence.
- The importance of strong and continued faculty development to promote rich and innovative learning environments.
“The first meeting of the Consortium of Western Regional Colleges of Veterinary Medicine was tremendously productive; the concept behind the group and the identified areas of potential collaboration align closely with strategic priorities of the veterinary profession, as well as with short- and long-term goals of the institutions, with a focus on creating better-prepared graduates, developing faculty and modeling collaboration,” says Vanessa Mariani, PAH director of academic & professional affairs. “We are fully committed to continued engagement with the consortium in support of securing a strong, relevant future for the profession.”
An important achievement during the inaugural meeting of the consortium was the development of a rubric for collaboration, which will be used to develop and implement shared strategies. Unanimous agreement was reached to start working immediately on the topic of faculty development by creating a regional teaching academy. Plans are being developed for Consortium members to reconvene in the near future to work out the details of this initial collaborative project.