MINORITY VETERINARY STUDENTS GET REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE WITH HELP FROM FRANKIE’S FRIENDS

 Erick Mears, DVM, DACVIM, and volunteer coordinator of externship program, with a friend

Erick Mears, DVM, DACVIM, and volunteer coordinator of externship program, with a friend

With a goal of making it easier for more minority students to have real-world experiences shadowing emergency veterinarians and board-certified specialists, an anonymous donor is making possible externships for minority veterinary students at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa. Grants underwrite the cost of accommodations while the students are in Tampa, said Dr. Erick Mears, medical director of the hospital, a board-certified veterinary internist who is the volunteer coordinator for the clinical training experience, which he sites as a significant impediment for students who wish to have externships in busy specialty hospitals.

Third- and fourth-year veterinary students spend 14 to 28 days shadowing experienced veterinarians in the specialty hospital setting as they diagnose and treat severe acute or chronic illnesses and complicated conditions in which life-threatening or several different disease processes may be involved. Students may see how advanced imaging technology is used every day in specialty veterinary hospitals, including CT, endoscopy, ultrasonography, echocardiography and MRI. They may choose rotations in emergency/critical care, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology/neurosurgery, oncology, ophthalmology or surgery.


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