Inclusion doesn’t matter without belonging

Brenda Andresen

Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, DACVS, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, explains how the school’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging program strives to build a diverse student body that will grow into professionals who create meaningful change. The Ohio State is leading the way in diversifying the veterinary profession by decreasing barriers and upholding standards. As Moore says, change is happening but there’s more work to be done.

Lessons from university’s work to enhance diversity

Increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) is of paramount importance to the veterinary profession, say professors from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in their May 25, 2022, online-first article in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The article shares their approach to enhancing DEIB within the college, acknowledging that this is one of many ways rather than the best or only way. Their goal is to “demonstrate that with intentionality and commitment, veterinary academia—and moreover the profession—can enhance diversity and foster an environment where everyone feels they belong and can thrive.”

According to Moore, the change has to begin with recruitment, both to veterinary schools and clinics post-graduation. By making “belonging” an essential part of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, the profession can better serve their communities by reflecting the diversity of the pet parents who live there.

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