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SOLUTIONS FOR THE PROFESSION COMPETITION

WE’RE HERE TO HELP STUDENTS GET AHEAD

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Resources | Solutions for the Profession Veterinary Student Essay Competition

The VIN Foundation’s Solutions for the Profession initiative is an international veterinary student scholarship in which currently enrolled veterinary students write a compelling essay based on an innovative solution to a current topic/issue in the veterinary profession. After three rounds of anonymous judging, the winners receive cash prizes to help with tuition and educational expenses.

The annual Solutions for the Profession Competition opens every Fall. We encourage you to sign up for updates to stay informed on the latest scholarship announcements. 

The VIN Foundation’s 8th Annual (2024) Solutions for the Profession Competition is now OPEN.

The VIN Foundation’s 8th Annual (2024) Solutions for the Profession Competition opens for submissions on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

8th Annual Competition (2024):

The VIN Foundation’s 8th Annual (2024) Solutions for the Profession Competition has closed.
Please check back for updates, or sign up above to be notified of updates via email.

SUMMARY:

The 8th annual (2024) VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Competition was open to all students (domestic & international) currently enrolled in veterinary school.

Three entrants won scholarships to help support tuition and education related expenses:

First place: $5,000
Second place: $3,000
Third place: $1,500

Topic:

Telemedicine

There are current efforts to expand the use of telemedicine and alter the criteria for establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR).

Entrants must answer the following two questions in their essay:

  1. What are the pros and cons for veterinarians, clients and patients that will result from these efforts?
  2. If you were able to dictate the outcome of this issue, what would you propose as the best framework to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to veterinarians, clients and patients?

WINNERS:

Winning essays will be posted soon.

  1. First place was awarded to Febbry Setiawan (University of Pretoria 2025) for the essay titled, Paws and Pixels: The Digital Leap in Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationships.
  2. Second place was awarded to Jake Kline (VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine 2024) for the essay titled, Telemedicine, The Future Integration in Veterinary Medicine?
  3. Third place was awarded to Alaire Comyn (Iowa State University 2027) for the essay titled, Telemedicine: An Opportunity to Educate the Public.

FIRST PLACE:

First place was awarded to Danielle Keerbs (Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine 2026) for the essay titled, Obsolescence vs Adaptability: An Analysis of the Veterinary Clinical Education Paradigm.

SECOND PLACE:

Second place was awarded to Morgan Weed (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 2026) for the essay titled, Trend or Tried and True – The Distributive and Teaching Hospital Models in Veterinary Schools.

THIRD PLACE:

Third place was awarded to Dionne Rasquinha (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 2025) for the essay titled, The Future of Veterinary Medicine is in Our Teaching Hospitals.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP STUDENTS GET AHEAD

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Resources | Solutions for the Profession Veterinary Student Essay Competition

The VIN Foundation’s Solutions for the Profession initiative is an international veterinary student scholarship in which currently enrolled veterinary students write a compelling essay based on an innovative solution to a current topic/issue in the veterinary profession. After three rounds of anonymous judging, the winners receive cash prizes to help with tuition and educational expenses.

The VIN Foundation’s 8th Annual (2024) Solutions for the Profession Competition is now OPEN.

The VIN Foundation’s 8th Annual (2024) Solutions for the Profession Competition opens for submissions on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

The VIN Foundation’s 8th Annual (2024) Solutions for the Profession Competition has closed.
Please check back for updates, or sign up above to be notified of updates via email.

SUMMARY:

The 8th annual (2024) VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Competition is open to all students (domestic & international) currently enrolled in veterinary school.

Three entrants will win scholarships to help support tuition and education related expenses:

First place: $5,000
Second place: $3,000
Third place: $1,500

Topic:

Telemedicine

There are current efforts to expand the use of telemedicine and alter the criteria for establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR).

Entrants must answer the following two questions in their essay:

  1. What are the pros and cons for veterinarians, clients and patients that will result from these efforts?
  2. If you were able to dictate the outcome of this issue, what would you propose as the best framework to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to veterinarians, clients and patients?

WORD LIMIT:

1,000 words (not including references or titles)

This is a strict parameter and all essay submissions higher than 1,000 (not including references or titles) will be automatically dismissed.

LANGUAGE:

All essays must be submitted in English.

FILE TYPE:

All essays must be submitted in Microsoft Word format.

JUDGING:

Judging is based on how well student essay submission describes their assessment of the topic, along with the originality and practicality of the suggestion(s) and/or solution(s) offered.

The judging takes place in three rounds. Each essay is anonymized and read by at least three evaluators in each round. The panel for round one is composed of the VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Committee made up of both veterinarians and related professional readers. The second round will be judged by veterinarians with insight into the relevant issues discussed in the essays. The third round will be judged by leaders in the veterinary profession

TIMEFRAME:

Competition is now closed for submissions.

Winners announced: Wednesday, May 15, 2024 (updated date)

ESSAY SUBMISSION:

Essays must be submitted online.

Only one entry per student.

Please check back on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 when the scholarship opens to submit an essay.

SHARING:

QUESTIONS:

PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR WINNERS ANNOUNCED FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2023. ALL ENTRANTS WILL RECEIVE ANNOUNCEMENT EMAIL.

SUMMARY:

The 7th annual (2023) VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Competition was open to all students (domestic & international) currently enrolled in veterinary school.

Three winners earned scholarships to help support tuition and education related expenses (winnings were increased this year thanks to donations!):

First place: $5,000
Second place: $3,000
Third place: $1,500

Topic:

Veterinary Teaching Hospitals
Until 2010, only a few veterinary schools operated a distributed clinical education model, having students receive their clinical training at other schools or private practices. In the last decade, several new schools have adopted this model, with students having the majority of their clinical education at private practices.

Please answer both of the following questions in your essay submission:
1. Explain why this has been a positive, negative or inconsequential change for the profession?
2. Do you think this trend should be continued or should veterinary schools be required to operate a teaching hospital to train students?

JUDGING:

Judging was based on how well student essay submission described their assessment of the topic, along with the originality and practicality of the suggestion(s) and/or solution(s) offered.

The judging takes place in three rounds. Each essay is anonymized and read by at least three evaluators in each round. The panel for round one is composed of the VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Committee made up of both veterinarians and related professional readers. The second round is judged by veterinarians with insight into the relevant issues discussed in the essays. The third round is judged by leaders in the veterinary profession

TIMEFRAME:

Competition closed: Friday, January 20, 2023 11:59pm PT

Winners announced: Friday, April 21, 2023

QUESTIONS:

PREVIOUS YEARS WINNERS:

7th Annual Competition (2023):

TOPIC:

Veterinary Teaching Hospitals:

Until 2010, only a few veterinary schools operated a distributed clinical education model, having students receive their clinical training at other schools or private practices. In the last decade, several new schools have adopted this model, with students having the majority of their clinical education at private practices.

Entrants were asked to answer both of the following questions in their essay submission:
1. Explain why this has been a positive, negative or inconsequential change for the profession?
2. Do you think this trend should be continued or should veterinary schools be required to operate a teaching hospital to train students?

WINNERS:
  1. First place was awarded to Danielle Keerbs (Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine 2026) for the essay titled, Obsolescence vs Adaptability: An Analysis of the Veterinary Clinical Education Paradigm.
  2. Second place was awarded to Morgan Weed (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 2026) for the essay titled, Trend or Tried and True – The Distributive and Teaching Hospital Models in Veterinary Schools.
  3. Third place was awarded to Dionne Rasquinha (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 2025) for the essay titled, The Future of Veterinary Medicine is in Our Teaching Hospitals.

6th Annual Competition (2022):

TOPIC:

Staff shortages:

Many businesses have been experiencing a shortage of workers. Although COVID has exacerbated the situation, veterinary practices have had great difficulty finding both doctors and support staff since well before the pandemic started.

The following 3 question needed to be addressed in the essay submissions:

  1. What do you believe are the main causes of this staffing shortage in veterinary practices?
  2. How will this affect you?
  3. What actions can be taken to improve the situation?
WINNERS:
  1. First place was awarded to Ian Doody (Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine 2022) for the essay titled, Labor Shortages in Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Second place was awarded to Elyse Politica (University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine 2025) for the essay titled, Extinguishing the Fire Before Burnout Takes Over.
  3. Third place was awarded to Elizabeth Handberg(University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine 2025) for the essay titled, From the Ground Up: A Focus on Veterinary Technicians.

NOTABLE MENTIONS:

5th Annual Competition (2021):

TOPIC:
Diversity in the veterinary profession:
Essay submissions had to include at least one of the following aspects: What diversity challenges are currently faced by the profession, and what can be done to improve the situation? What steps is your veterinary school taking to address diversity challenges, and what solutions do you think would improve the situation?
WINNERS:
  1. First place was awarded to Ashley Wang (University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine 2023) for the essay titled, Beyond Checking Off Boxes: Realizing Transformational Change in Diversity Work.
  2. Second place was awarded to Natalya Redmond (University of Bristol 2024) for the essay titled, Breaking the Cycle.
  3. Third place was awarded to Hannah Lee (University of Queensland 2021) for the essay titled, Putting the vet in diversity: A proposal for diversifying the veterinary profession.

4th Annual Competition (2020):

TOPIC:
Is the veterinary school education you are receiving effective, efficient, and relevant to your career goals?
WINNERS:
Due to the impressive nature of the entries for this year, there was a tie for 3rd place. Two runner-ups were also noted for their entries and are published below:
  1. First place was awarded to Ilene Ellis (North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine 2023) for the essay titled, Retiring James Herriot; A proposal for modern veterinary education.
  2. Second place was awarded to Ava Abuchaei (University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 2021) for the essay titled, From Student to Doctor: Evaluating my Veterinary Education.
  3. Third place tie was awarded to Allison Hale (Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine 2020) for the essay titled, A Perfect Education.
  4. Third place tie was awarded to McKenzie Beals Weber (Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine 2021) for the essay titled, Value and Opportunity: The Perfect Match at Iowa State University.

3rd Annual Competition (2019):

TOPIC:
Please describe the current state of practice consolidation (mergers and acquisitions) in the veterinary profession. What are the positive and negative aspects of this consolidation? How do you see this affecting you and the profession, now and in the future?
WINNERS:
  1. First place was awarded to Joanne Yi for her big fish little fish perspective on corporations versus the independent practices. Joanne is a second year student at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Second place went to Joseph Marchell for his financial viewpoint on the impact of consolidation on the profession. Joseph is set to graduate this year from Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
  3. Annie Showers won third place with her in-depth approach to polling hundreds of practicing veterinarians for their responses on the pros and cons of corporate ownership. Annie is a second year student at Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.

2nd Annual Competition (2018):

TOPIC:
Now that you are in veterinary school, what do you wish you had known prior to applying to or entering the program? Are there issues you wish you’d been more informed about before applying to or entering school? What could veterinary schools do to better inform prospective students about these issues or decisions? How does your school measure up in helping students understand the realities of veterinary medicine? What programs do they offer? What do you think they could do better?
WINNERS:
  1. First place was awarded to Paige Livingston, for her essay on ways to improve student debt education. Paige is entering her fourth year as a student at the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Second place went to Cheyenne Cannarozzo for her innovative suggestion to add resilience to the core competency requirements for veterinary students. Cheyenne is entering her third year at the Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
  3. Linnea Thraen won third place with her essay highlighting the need for improved business management education in veterinary school. Linnea has just graduated the University of Minnesota, School of Veterinary Medicine.

1st Annual Competition (2017):

TOPIC:
An Innovative and Implementable Solution to a Current Problem Confronting the Veterinary Profession. The essay should describe the current state of the problem, what factors were involved in creating the problem and propose steps toward achieving solutions to solve the problem.
WINNERS:
  1. First place was awarded to Hanum Wensil-Strow for her thought-provoking essay on the veterinary student debt situation. Hanum is in her fourth year has a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is interested in large animal medicine and wildlife conservation.
  2. Second place went to Shannon Finn for her innovative approach to the mental health issues challenging colleagues in the veterinary profession. Shannon is in her fourth and final year at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Canada. She is hoping to go into rural food animal practice upon graduation, but also has interests in public health and regulatory medicine.
  3. Alexandra Ripperger won third place for her inventive approach to gender inequality. Alexandra is in her fourth year as a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys working with small animals, and small ruminants/camelids.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Whether or not Entrant is a winner of the competition, Entrant represents that any essay and other materials submitted as part of Entrant’s entry are the original work of Entrant and not copied from any other source and will not constitute defamation or an invasion of privacy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of any third party, and that the Entrant owns or has the rights to convey any and all right and title in such essay. By entering, Entrant grants to VIN Foundation and its affiliates a worldwide, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, and republish at any time in the future and otherwise use all or part of Entrant’s submitted essay, along with Entrant’s name, photograph, likeness, statements, biographical information, and any other information provided by Entrant, in any and all media (including print and online), provided such use is consistent with VIN Foundation’s current or future mission and attribution is provided to Entrant, without further permission, notice, or compensation (except where prohibited by law). VIN Foundation is under no obligation to publish any entries, and any publication of an entry does not mean that entrant has won a prize.
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