Male students on the decline at Ontario Veterinary College

School making efforts to increase diversity and recruit men.
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Dec 07, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

The great gender shift in veterinary medicine is happening across the northern border, too, apparently. This fall, of the 114 veterinary students who entered the Ontario Veterinary College’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program in Guelph, 87 percent were women, according to the Toronto Star. And the gender shift that has slowly manifested itself over the past few decades is also reflected in how the school is staffed: The dean is a woman, but 60 percent of the faculty is male.

In order to encourage more men to enroll in the veterinary program, the school is careful to include images of men in recruitment materials, pamphlets, and videos. And when students are chosen to speak on behalf of the college at high school career fairs, male students are included.

Experts disagree on the reasons for the gender disparity. According to the college's diversity and careers coordinator, Elizabeth Lowenger, statistics show fewer men are earning higher education degrees—more than 60 percent of university graduates are women. However, men still want to go to veterinary school, she says, but fewer of them are studying science, and women are outperforming them.