Partnership with American Veterinary Medical Foundation will award up to $750,000 to students across veterinary medicine disciplines

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For the third consecutive year, Pfizer Animal Health and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation invite second- and third-year students of veterinary medicine to apply for the Pfizer Animal Health Scholarship. In an effort to help address rising school debt, up to 300 scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded to assist students in all areas of veterinary medicine.

In addition to traditional scholarship selection criteria-academic excellence and financial need-Pfizer Animal Health's scholarship will focus on meeting the ongoing needs of the veterinary profession: increasing diversity among practitioners in ethnic heritage, gender, socioeconomic background, professional aspirations, and improving the availability of veterinarians to serve in mixed or rural practices.

Pfizer Animal Health recognizes that veterinary students need financial assistance to help fund their education, take advantage of opportunities for practical in-field experience, and explore an array of veterinary career paths.

"This scholarship is one way that Pfizer is helping to meet the needs of the veterinary profession and ensure a successful, vibrant future," says J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, and Group Director of Veterinary Medical Services & Corporate Citizenship for Pfizer Animal Health.

In 2012, Pfizer Animal Health will provide up to $750,000 in student scholarships to eligible students in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Scholarships will be awarded to students in all areas, including food animal medicine, equine and small animal medicine, research, academia, and government services, among others. Award eligibility is subject to the guidelines established by individual schools.

"The first two years of this program have been a huge success. We awarded scholarships to students from a myriad of socioeconomic backgrounds studying across a diverse array of species and veterinary disciplines," Dr. McFarland says. "We intend to continue to build on this successful experience, which has allowed us to support students of veterinary medicine more effectively than ever."

In 2011, the program awarded 300 students with a total of $750,000. The group included:

· 32 percent from diverse backgrounds

· 50 percent studying to practice food and mixed animal veterinary medicine

· 35 percent going into small animal practice

· Remaining students going in to academia, research and public practice

"Learning that I was awarded the scholarship brought me peace of mind because of all the expenses I was facing while trying to focus on my veterinary education," says 2011 scholarship recipient Joe Esch, a fourth-year student at Ohio State and current president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association. "The scholarship was beneficial in covering the living expenses and educational opportunities not accounted for by student loans."

The scholarship program is a part of Pfizer Animal Health's Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform-which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy. The scholarship complements a number of other Pfizer Animal Health programs supporting the veterinary profession, including millions invested in universities, industry education and training, scholarships, and allied organizations each year.

To apply for the Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, students can visit or from October 1 to November 30, 2011.