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The Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics
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SVME Shomer Award for Veterinary Ethics

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This prestigious award is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Robert Shomer, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1934. Dr. Shomer was a co-founder and first President of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics. He was very passionate about the ethics of veterinary practice. He served the animal kingdom, the veterinary community and humankind with veracity, wit and passion. His intellect, courage and eloquence are hallmarks of true leadership in the field of veterinary medical ethics.

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Award Criteria:

This award is bestowed upon an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of veterinary medical ethics. The recipient must have a distinguished career as a leader in the field of veterinary medical ethics through scholarship, advocacy, or mentorship. Recipients should be outstanding individuals who throughout their professional careers have promoted and embodied the qualities of a true professional including veracity, compassion, courage and integrity.

Selection criteria for the award include:

  • Leadership and advocacy in local, regional, national or international veterinary ethics
  • Scholarship in the field of veterinary ethics
  • Evidence of good character
  • History of inspiring students and/or members of the veterinary profession.


Nominations for this award can be made to Dr. Bill Folger by September 1, 2022.  The award may be granted on an annual basis as qualified individuals are identified.

Please download the form below to nominate the
2022 Shomer Award Recipient.

   Shomer Award Nomination Form.pdf


The recipient will receive a personalized plaque and a cash prize of $1,000.00 (US) at an Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with the SVME Ethics Sessions during the VMX Conference.

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2023 Lifetime

Shomer Award Winner:

Barry Kipperman


Dr. Barry Kipperman  is a board certified veterinary specialist in internal medicine and was staff internist and founder of a 24-hour referral/emergency practice in the San Francisco Bay area from 1997-2020. Dr. Kipperman received a masters degree in animal welfare, ethics and law from the University of Edinburgh in 2017, and became a board certified veterinary specialist in animal welfare in 2019.  

He teaches veterinary ethics at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and animal welfare and ethics for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kipperman received the Harrison-Kaplan undergraduate teaching award in 2019 and 2022.

Dr. Kipperman serves on the Animal Welfare Committee of the California Veterinary Medical Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and MightyVet, an organization devoted to veterinary wellness. Barry has published essays and research on veterinary ethics for over 20 years. His research interests include the influence of economics on animal welfare and veterinarian well-being, and the ethical dilemmas and moral stress faced by veterinarians. 

Barry is the co-editor and co-author of the book, Ethics in Veterinary Practice: Balancing Conflicting Interests. Dr. Kipperman is a frequent speaker on veterinary ethics issues at conferences.

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(Go to the Past Shomer Award Recipients page for more details about past winners)

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