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Does it matter that more boys aren't applying to vet school?
  1. Liz Mossop, BVM&S, MMedSci,PhD, MAcadMEd, MRCVS
  1. School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK. e-mail:

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DURING the 2015 application cycle to study veterinary medicine in the UK, just 20 per cent of applicants to UCAS were male (UCAS 2016). The profession is very aware that, while previously it has been male dominated, over the past 30 years an increasing number of female veterinary surgeons are graduating, leading to a gender shift overall. This has led to much discussion about the possible issues this change may present and how they can be tackled, as the stereotype of vets being male mixed practitioners is challenged. The Vet Futures report is a prime example of this. One of the ambitions is ‘diverse and rewarding veterinary careers’, which is motivated in part by some worrying statistics around the number of vets intending to leave the profession in the future (Vet Futures 2015). The stated aim of this ambition is to ensure that the veterinary profession attracts and retains individuals who are fulfilled within their careers whatever their demographic. The prediction is that ‘the profile of the veterinary profession in 2030 will be quite different from how it looks today’, as the number of female graduates continues to impact the gender balance within the profession (Vet Futures 2015). The report goes on to discuss whether veterinary medicine is an attractive career for men, and what the impact of a gender shift could be, from …

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