On April 5, 2021, the One Health Institute announced the four winning projects from the 2021 One Health Integration in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)/Black Lives Matter (BLM) Competitive Grant Winners. Here we take a closer look at Changing Today’s Veterinary Education through Tomorrow’s Leaders.
Who is on your Project Team?
Kristin Jankowski, Erik Olstad, Karen Ann Boudreaux, Joie Watson
What is a brief summary of your project?
The American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education's Standards of Accreditation requires that veterinary medical education programs to provide "opportunities throughout the curriculum for students to gain and integrate an understanding of the important influences of diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine, including the impact of implicit bias related to an individual’s personal circumstance on the delivery of veterinary medical services" (Standard 7.9.g). This standard is built on an assumption that veterinary teaching faculty have foundational knowledge and understanding in diversity and inclusion, and awareness of their own implicit biases. This project will explore and build upon the knowledge level of faculty at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), through the delivery of informational workshops designed and presented by veterinary students. The selected students will receive DEI and One Health training, then create and deliver informational workshops under the supervision of content area experts.
What motivated you to create this particular project?
There are few opportunities in the current UC Davis SVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) curriculum to learn and/or work with diverse populations of clients. Specific focus on addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues are not commonplace in the content or taught in most rotations; however, many One Health projects have successfully integrated these important concepts. Creating an awareness for DEI concepts among faculty, staff, and students, while providing opportunities to educate oneself is important to remedying these issues. Developing a curriculum that not only addresses and includes, but practices and implements concepts for a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment that utilizes a One Health approach to achieve these goals was a natural solution.
What is your vision for the future after your pilot project?
The proposed project will create content workshops addressing the concepts of diversity, inclusion, equity and One Health for use with faculty, staff, and students. These workshops will be available for future implementation as they will include educational information for the individuals presenting, pre- and post-assignments and tests, research findings, additional readings, and various presentation materials and formats. The larger goal for the future is to use this as the first step towards bringing immersive One Health/DEI projects into the core curriculum. This would take the training beyond workshops and incorporate outreach veterinary projects with students and faculty working directly with clients of varying socioeconomic status, ethnicities, and backgrounds, creating a curriculum to serve as a model for other veterinary schools around the country.
What is one thing a person can do today to educate themselves and be a strong ally?
Self-awareness is the most important aspect to becoming a strong ally in promoting diversity, inclusion, equity and One Health in any context. Self-assessments help to make conscious, unconscious biases an individual may have, as well as, addressing biases and false ideas and/or understandings in which one is aware. Self-awareness paired with education allows an individual to learn, understand and appreciate all ethnicities, cultures, and environments.