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Vocational choices made by alumni of the Leadership Program for Veterinary Students at Cornell University

David R. Fraser AM, BVSc, PhD1, John S. L. Parker BVMS, PhD2, and Douglas D. McGregor MD, DPhil3
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  • 1 Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
  • | 2 Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 3 Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare vocational aspirations and outcomes of participants in the 10-week Leadership Program for Veterinary Students at Cornell University.

DESIGN Survey.

SAMPLE Veterinary students who participated in the program between 1990 and 2013.

PROCEDURES Questionnaires that sought information about the career aspirations of participants at the beginning and end of the program were reviewed, along with records documenting the career progression of participants, audio recordings of interviews conducted with students, and notes of vocation-oriented counseling sessions held during each year's program.

RESULTS At the conclusion of the program, 143 of 174 (82%) participants indicated they were more likely than not to undertake research training after completing their veterinary degree, compared with 106 of 174 (61%) at the beginning. Participation also stimulated interest in residency training and industry, but did little to promote interest in careers in government or the military. The percentage of participants who indicated they were more likely than not to pursue additional training in private practice decreased from 97 of 174 (56%) at the beginning of the program to 75 of 174 (43%) at the end. Information on career progression was available for 391 individuals, of whom 177 (45%) were pursuing careers of the kind envisioned by the program. However, 189 (48%) participants had a career in general or specialty clinical practice.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The Leadership Program appeared to have a short-term influence on careers anticipated by program participants. However, a substantial proportion pursued careers in clinical practice after graduation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare vocational aspirations and outcomes of participants in the 10-week Leadership Program for Veterinary Students at Cornell University.

DESIGN Survey.

SAMPLE Veterinary students who participated in the program between 1990 and 2013.

PROCEDURES Questionnaires that sought information about the career aspirations of participants at the beginning and end of the program were reviewed, along with records documenting the career progression of participants, audio recordings of interviews conducted with students, and notes of vocation-oriented counseling sessions held during each year's program.

RESULTS At the conclusion of the program, 143 of 174 (82%) participants indicated they were more likely than not to undertake research training after completing their veterinary degree, compared with 106 of 174 (61%) at the beginning. Participation also stimulated interest in residency training and industry, but did little to promote interest in careers in government or the military. The percentage of participants who indicated they were more likely than not to pursue additional training in private practice decreased from 97 of 174 (56%) at the beginning of the program to 75 of 174 (43%) at the end. Information on career progression was available for 391 individuals, of whom 177 (45%) were pursuing careers of the kind envisioned by the program. However, 189 (48%) participants had a career in general or specialty clinical practice.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The Leadership Program appeared to have a short-term influence on careers anticipated by program participants. However, a substantial proportion pursued careers in clinical practice after graduation.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. McGregor (ddm7@cornell.edu).