The 2016 SVME WALTHAM Student Essay Contest  

The 2016 SVME WALTHAM
Student Essay Contest  
01 Jan 2016

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Founded in 1994, The Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics (SVME) seeks to promote thoughtful and respectful public discussion on ethical issues arising in, and relevant to, the practice of veterinary medicine. In that effort, the SVME has long recognized the importance of student participation and development in the field of veterinary ethics, and so, it has been pleased to host an annual student essay contest.

The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, a division of Mars Petcare, has graciously sponsored the SVME essay contest since 2006. That tradition continues this year. Waltham will be offering for the GRAND PRIZE (Alice Villalobos Student Essay Award) a $1,000.00 cash award and another $1,000.00 for travel expenses for the GRAND PRIZE winner to attend the 2016 AVMA Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX August 5-9 to present the winning essay in the SVME Plenary Session. The winning essay will also be posted on the SVME website.  We at SVME take this opportunity to thank Waltham and, in particular, Dr. Karyl J. Hurley, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA of Mars Petcare Global Scientific Affairs for their continued support of the student essay contest.

All entries received from students enrolled in an accredited Veterinary Technician degree program at the time of essay submission will also compete for the VTS AWARD, which consists of a certificate of recognition, a cash prize of $250.00 (US), and publication of the essay on the SVME website.

Student Essay Contest Topic for 2015-2016

In this scenario, what ethical issues are in play?  How should Robin proceed?

  Scenario: At present writing, there are 13 states which require veterinarians to report suspected animal neglect or cruelty, and 27 states which provide immunity from civil suit for veterinarians who report suspected animal abuse in good faith. Robin is a newly graduated veterinarian working in a state with no reporting requirement and no legal protection against civil litigation. Upon examining a dog presented for a rabies vaccination one busy morning, Robin strongly suspects animal abuse and reports the situation immediately to Dr. V., the practice owner. Dr. V. informs Robin that the family has fallen on hard times after the passing of their bread-winner and suggests that it would be best to vaccinate the dog and pursue the matter of abuse no further.
     Winning essay and other essays of significant merit will be posted on the SVME web site. 

Contest Eligibility

The 2016 SVME WALTHAM Student Essay Contest is open to any student enrolled at an institution of higher learning (post-secondary) at the time of essay submission.

General Essay Requirements

1) Essay must be an original work of the student that addresses the assigned topic.

2) Essay must be composed in Times New Roman font using the #12 font size, double-spaced, and with 1-inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right).

3) Essay must include a title page that includes identifying information (student name, school, degree program, date of submission, and student email address). All other pages must be free of content that might indicate the author’s identity or institutional affiliation.

4) Not including the title page or endnotes, essay will not exceed 3,000 words in length. Beginning with the first page of text, pages should be numbered sequentially with the page number placed at the top right corner.

5) Essay must be composed in English with attention given to proper spelling, grammar and syntax.

6) A quality essay will critically engage the ideas, viewpoints, and investigations of others who have published on the subject. Quotations and unique facts must be documented using endnotes formatted according to the style used in The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (see the Journal’s online instruction for authors at the following website address: https://www.avma.org/News/Journals/Pages/javma-manuscript-style.aspx).

7) Essay must be delivered via email attachment as an Adobe ‘pdf’ document to Ms. Beckie Mossor, RVT, Chair of SVME Student Essay Committee ([email protected]) no later than Saturday, April 16, 2016. Use the following title in the subject line of the email: “last name, first name: 2016 SVME Essay Contest”

Criteria for Selection

Essays are primarily evaluated using the following criteria:

1) Students should develop a position (pro or con) on the question posed in the Topic (see above) through sound and compelling arguments.

2) Essays should evidence research of the topic and an awareness of opposing views.

3) Length of essay, style, clarity, organization, coherence

4) Formatting, spelling, grammar and punctuation

Awards *

All entries meeting eligibility requirements stated above compete for the GRAND PRIZE (The “Alice Villalobos Student Essay Award”), which consists of a certificate of recognition, a cash prize of $1000.00 (US), posting of the winning essay on the SVME website, and $1000.00 (US) maximum stipend for travel expenses to attend the 2016 AVMA Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX Aug 5-9 to present the winning essay in the SVME Plenary Session.

All entries received from students enrolled in an accredited Veterinary Technician degree program at the time of submission will also compete for the VMT AWARD, which consists of a certificate of recognition, a cash prize of $250.00 (US), and posting of the winning essay on the SVME website. It is possible that a single entry may receive both Grand Prize and VTS Awards.

Honorable Mention Essays: SVME may also recognize and post on its website non-winning essays of notable merit. No cash prize is awarded Honorable Mention essays.

* Either award may bypass if submitted entries are judged to be of insufficient merit.

Contact Information

Direct correspondence to Ms. Beckie Mossor, RVT, 2016 SEC Committee Chair via email at [email protected]

To view 2015 Award winners and previous award winners visit; http://www.svme.org/page-528502

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