BWF Statement on the National Research Council Veterinary Workforce Report

30 May 2012

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC- - With support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and other organizations, the National Research Council released recommendations of an expert panel that has studied workforce needs in veterinary medicine on May 30.

Chaired by Alan M. Kelly, Dean Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, the panel’s recommendations cover a broad range of workforce challenges reflecting veterinarians’ service in roles ranging from companion animal medicine to global food security.  

“We agree with the panel’s recommendation that veterinary academe increase its commitment to research, developing future faculty, and encouraging current faculty to work across disciplinary and professional boundaries”, says Victoria McGovern, PhD, a Senior Program Officer at BWF. McGovern runs BWF’s infectious disease and population health programs. 

“More than any other clinicians, veterinarians are trained to understand the links between humans, domestic and wild animals, and the environment. This training makes them uniquely valuable for spotting, interpreting, and responding to new factors—for instance, infectious diseases like the West Nile Virus, or toxic substances like melamine—that threaten animal and human health,” McGovern says. “It is important to develop and support a strongly research-driven culture within the colleges of veterinary medicine so that those insights can be turned into knowledge that can improve animal and human health.”

The Association of American Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC) called for this study and supported it, with further support coming from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Bayer Animal Health, Inc., and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation whose mission is to advance the medical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.  

The full report is available for download at the National Academies Press website.

View the National Academies news release is available here.

Media contact:  Russ Campbell news@bwfund.org or 919/667-8866