About Our Organization

Mission Statement
Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association’s mission is to connect, support and empower community for LGBT+* students and allies across veterinary education.
*LGBT + will be used as an inclusive acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer,Questioning, Asexual and others who self-identify on the sexual orientation and/or gender expression continuums.

Vision Statement
Broad Spectrum desires greater support and a sense of community for all LGBT+ students and allies throughout veterinary medical education. We actively strive to counter episodes of bigotry and marginalization with positive messages of diversity and inclusion. We have healthy, supportive and encouraging relationships with pre-veterinary, veterinary and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators. We are known for advocating for the respect and equality of seen and unseen LGBT+ members in the academic veterinary community and beyond. We contribute to the development of safe and welcoming veterinary school environments for pre- and current veterinary students. Broad Spectrum makes veterinary schools more inclusive for all students, especially LGBT+ students. We accomplish this by starting important and courageous conversations about LGBT+ inclusion, in addition to maintaining much needed support for LGBT+ students in veterinary medicine.

Our History

We were founded in 2011 at the SAVMA Symposium hosted by UC Davis. The name 'Broad Spectrum' came out of a calculated attempt to be as inclusive as possible to any student who falls anywhere on the spectra of sexuality, sex, or gender. We welcome all students no matter their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. And yes, allies, this means we welcome you, too!

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Outernships and Residencies: On being “Out” for the VIRMP


As many fourth-year veterinary students and interns are (uncomfortably) aware, tomorrow, December 3rd, is the deadline for application to the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program sponsored by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.  For the unacquainted, the program allows those desiring of an internship or residency to apply and rank programs, and a centralized VIRMP computer program is able to match student rankings of programs with program rankings of students to ensure the best fit for both parties.   The program opens from Mid-October through early-December and often signals a stressful time of statement writing, CV modifying, reference seeking, form filling, and careful contemplation into one’s future.

The VIRMP Homepage, a sight/site familiar to many


When Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association was founded, many students sought to address the queer and age-old question of whether or not to be open about one’s orientation in various applications, whether for vet school itself, or for internships, residencies, and jobs.  As one can see from this discriminatory remark from an established veterinarian,  sometimes it’s just not safe to be out in the veterinary profession, and unfortunately, being out can sometimes cost you the spot, the prospective job, or your current job.  However, through our interview series with veterinarians such as Dr. Larry Carbone  and Dr. Patrick Mahaney, we have received words of encouragement to stay true to who you are and to not shy away from listing leadership accomplishments in applications.

Seeing that many of us are currently undergoing or will be planning on going through the VIRMP process, we decided it would be helpful to talk to current out interns and residents about their experiences.  Read on for their experiences below, and feel free to participate by emailing us at broadspectrumoutreach@gmail.com.  See the end of the post for more details on participating.

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Name: Scott Joudrey  
What veterinary school did you attend?  When did you graduate?  Were you out while in veterinary school?
Atlantic Veterinary College. 2011.  I was out the whole time.        
In what program are you currently an intern/resident?
Surgical Intern
What types of internships/residencies were you looking at (e.g. private vs academic)?  Why?
I am more interested in academia, as I enjoy teaching.
How are you currently feeling about your internship/residency?          
Surgery is a hard residency to get it seems. There is a lot of competition and many people have to do more than one internship and also fellowships. I am hopeful for matching this year though.    
Did state and local laws regarding non-discrimination play any role in deciding where to apply or where to go?   
No.    
Were you out during the application process?  Why or why not?          
I didn't put "I'm gay" on a banner and send it to them, no. During my visit to the clinic I did my general internship at, I didn't hide it and people know I was gay before offering me that internship.
Have you felt that being out or coming out has had any effect on how you are treated or how you are able to function in the clinic?        
Sometimes I wonder of male students feel uncomfortable around me, just because they don't know how to act around me. For the most part I think people just see me as me, who just happens to like guys. Gay jokes happen now and then, but I personally welcome them as they are always in a friendly way.    
Are there other out veterinarians at your clinic?            
Yes    
Do you have any tips or recommendation for those currently applying? 
Just be yourself. Don't feel like you have to advertise your sexuality, but also don't feel like you should hide it.                                          

***

Name: Jeffrey Barnet
What veterinary school did you attend?  When did you graduate? Were you out while in veterinary school?    
University of Pennsylvania, graduated in 2010, was out 100% of the time          
In what program are you currently an intern/resident?
Surgical specialty internship at University of Pennsylvania.  Previously a surgical intern at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital (Denver, CO) and rotating intern at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates (Gaithersburg, MD).  
What types of internships/residencies were you looking at (e.g. private vs academic)?  Why?
Specifically was looking at academic residencies in surgery, although also looked at private practice ones as well.  Fell into my first and second surgical internships after I did not match for a residency.
How are you currently feeling about your internship/residency?          
Excellent internship to be out of the closet - very comfortable and accepting environment.  If you are 100% interested and committed to obtaining a surgical residency and have good patience, then this is an excellent choice.  Plenty of time to perform research, good access to faculty, little primary case responsibility.      
Did state and local laws regarding non-discrimination play any role in deciding where to apply or where to go?   
No.    
Were you out during the application process?  Why or why not?          
Yes I was.  It was a conscious decision to place my membership in the LGVMA in my resume for residencies.  I have no interest in attending a program that is not fully accepting of who I am.  Particularly during your internship/residency (for better or for worse) your program ends up also becoming your family/social life, and so it is important to take into account that you can socialize and be open with these individuals day in/day out.          
Have you felt that being out or coming out has had any effect on how you are treated or how you are able to function in the clinic?        
No.  It very uncommonly comes up, and those that bring it up do so in a natural and open manner.
Are there other out veterinarians at your clinic?            
Yes - both faculty members and residents (and students too).  

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Name: Shalini Latchman            
What veterinary school did you attend?  When did you graduate?  Were you out while in veterinary school?  
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduated 2012, yes I was out while in vet school.
In what program are you currently an intern/resident?
I am an intern at BluePearl Minnesota
What types of internships/residencies were you looking at (e.g. private vs academic)?  Why?
Private- wanted more real-life experience outside of academics          
How are you currently feeling about your internship/residency?          
Not great- it has a lot lacking as for as hands-on experience is concerned.  I would recommend an academic internship from now on.          
Did state and local laws regarding non-discrimination play any role in deciding where to apply or where to go?   
No- but I knew Minnesota's LGBT policies- I grew up here.      
Were you out during the application process?  Why or why not?          
Yup- by officership for Homophiliacs is on my resume- it's a leadership position in diversity- I think it matters to be honest and proud of your affiliations
Have you felt that being out or coming out has had any effect on how you are treated or how you are able to function in the clinic? 
Not really- there are several other out clinicians and techs at this clinic
Do you have any tips or recommendation for those currently applying? 
From gathering information from fellow classmates, I recommend academic internships for those interested in residencies and jobs for those who are not- don't waste your time in a private practice internship- find a mentor at a job that values your time and is invested in you as a person and veterinarian

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Name: Brendan            
What veterinary school did you attend?  When did you graduate?  Were you out while in veterinary school?
Cornell, 2009, Yes I was out.    
In what program are you currently an intern/resident?
Resident at Cornell
What types of internships/residencies were you looking at (e.g. private vs academic)?  Why?
I was willing to entertain private or academic since my specialty is so rare that the number of programs is limiting.        
How are you currently feeling about your internship/residency?          
Good- almost done...
Did state and local laws regarding non-discrimination play any role in deciding where to apply or where to go?   
No.  However, I did more strongly consider regions that I thought would be more receptive of the LGBTQ community.
Were you out during the application process?  Why or why not?          
Yes- I'm in a long term relationship and have no intention of hiding that.  While not a defining characteristic of me as a person, it's something that was bound to come out eventually.  The areas of the country where I thought I might have a harder time (Indiana, Texas) I asked current interns what their perception of the working environment was with regard to LGBTQ issues.  The internship I chose was in a gay friendly area of Florida.  I came out in the first 3 weeks of working there and did not get any negative response.  My being out also helped the next intern feel more comfortable choosing the position after seeing how well received I was at the hospital.
Did you find it difficult to come out?
I did not find it difficult- just dropped in conversation when it felt right.  Everyone knew I was gay when I arrived at my residency since I was dating one of the other residents.            
Have you felt that being out or coming out has had any effect on how you are treated or how you are able to function in the clinic?
No- I work in a liberal supportive environment.            
Are there other out veterinarians at your clinic?            
Yes    
Do you have any tips or recommendation for those currently applying? 
Be honest but know your audience.  Some people are accepting but don't want sexuality thrown in their faces.  I've learned to have a thick skin and not take things too seriously.                                                                                                            

***

As you can see, our post features interns and residents from both private practice and academia.  We received many responses from surgery interns.  If you identify on the LGBT+ spectrum, are a current or recent intern or resident, and would like to participate, please do so by emailing us at broadspectrumoutreach@gmail.com to answer any of the following questions with which you feel comfortable answering:

  1. What is your name?  (You can be as anonymous as you want (e.g. Full name, First name only, "Anonymous Intern # x" etc.)
  2. What veterinary school did you attend?  Were you out during veterinary school?  When did you graduate?
  3. What program are you currently in?  (This can be as specific as you want it to be: e.g. Internship at _, or less specific like: Academic/Private Practice Rotating Internship etc.)
  4. What types of internships were you looking at (e.g. private vs academic)?  Why?
  5. How are you currently feeling about your internship?
  6. Did state and local laws regarding non-discrimination play any role in deciding where to apply or where to go?
  7. Were you out during the application process?  Why or why not?
  8. If you were not out during the application process, did you find it difficult to come out?  How did you come out?
  9. Have you felt coming out has had any effect on how you are treated or how you’re able to function in clinic?
  10. Are there other out veterinarians at your clinic?
  11. Do you have any tips or recommendation for those currently applying?  Anything you wish you could have done?

Thank you to the interns and residents who participated!

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