It has been said that veterinarians are universal biologists or universal physicians. No other profession better understands health and disease among so many species. They are also called upon to understand the environmental interface between human health, wildlife health, livestock health and companion animal health. Thus, it is critical that the veterinary profession carefully plans for the world’s future needs. Although several studies (Table 1) have been commissioned over the past two decades to evaluate future directions for veterinary medicine, the profession and veterinary medical education institutions continue to respond to internal signals and internal needs rather than consider meeting the needs of a changing, and global, society. This prospectus is a draft document on the challenges facing the veterinary profession and veterinary medical education, and how future societal needs might be met by a profession poised to deliver significant benefits to our world. Such delivery will require planning, partners and action.