VetMed Ride

Students, staff, and faculty of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine participated for a second year in a 100-mile bicycle ride to raise money for the Florida Veterinary Medical Association’s scholarship program. Students rode through Florida’s horse farm country in northern Marion County for either all or part of the ride. Six students completed the entire 100 miles. Team VetMed, totaling 19 members, reached their $10,000 goal, according to Sarah Carey, Public Relations Director.

“I know the dean was pleased with the college participation,” Carey said. “The ride was a success because it gave the vet school visibility, and it shows that the dean is personally committed to school scholarships. It is a neat way to raise money and to raise awareness about the problem with student debt.

“The average debt burden of our DVM graduates was more than $40,000 last year,” she added. “Nationwide, starting salaries for new veterinary school graduates who enter private clinical practice are estimated at between $33,000-$36,000.”

James Thompson, DVM, PhD, and the college’s associate dean for students and instruction, recognizes the necessity for these need-based scholarships. “This income figure is very tight for our new graduates to manage, and therefore it is essential that we aggressively work toward reducing the amount of student indebtedness,” he said.

Carey said that there would be a Team VetMed for 2000. “It’s something we can do to raise money, and it has worked really well,” she said.

About the Author

Sarah Evers Conrad

Sarah Evers Conrad has a bachelor’s of arts in journalism and equine science from Western Kentucky University. As a lifelong horse lover and equestrian, Conrad started her career at The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care magazine. She has also worked for the United States Equestrian Federation as the managing editor of Equestrian magazine and director of e-communications and served as content manager/travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. When she isn’t freelancing, Conrad spends her free time enjoying her family, reading, practicing photography, traveling, crocheting, and being around animals in her Lexington, Kentucky, home.

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