MADISON, N.J. — April 1, 2011 — As part of its ongoing commitment to invest in the future of the veterinary profession, Pfizer Animal Health today announced the recipients of its second annual student scholarship program. Pfizer awarded $2,500 each to 300 second- and third-year veterinary students at accredited universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean, for a total of $750,000.
A total of 1,562 students applied for the scholarship. Students were chosen based on several criteria, including academic excellence, professional interests (small animal, large, mixed, research, academia, etc.), diversity, leadership and potential for contribution to the veterinary profession. Of the total group of 2011 scholars, 32 percent are students from diverse backgrounds, 50 percent are studying to practice food and mixed animal veterinary medicine, 35 percent will go into small animal practice and the remainder will go into other areas, such as academia, research and public practice. For a list of scholarship recipients, please visit: vets.pfizerah.com.
The program is part of a three-year, $2 million initiative that Pfizer Animal Health created in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), which administers the funds. Its goal is to support students from a myriad of socio-economic backgrounds studying across a diverse array of species and veterinary disciplines.
“We’re working to support students’ dreams to become veterinarians in several ways, from education and hands-on training to research and the Pfizer Animal Health scholarship program, which allows us to help lessen the financial debt that our students face today,” said Michael McFarland, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, Group Director Veterinary Medical Services at Pfizer Animal Health. “We are honored to help pave the way for professional success for these students.”
More than 2,500 students will graduate from veterinary schools this year, with an average loan debt of nearly $140,000, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. In response to the rising debt load and to help ensure there are enough qualified veterinarians in the years ahead, Pfizer Animal Health and the AVMF have grown the scholarship program by 26 percent in terms of funding since its inaugural year in 2010.
The scholarship program is a component of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians initiative—which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of veterinarians, and philanthropy.
“One of the primary missions of the AVMF for the past 50 years has been supporting the educational needs of veterinary students,” said Michael W. Cathey, Executive Director, AVMF. “We are pleased to partner with Pfizer Animal Health on the single largest annual source of veterinary student scholarships.”