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7 lessons of life (and veterinary medicine) learned in the milk parlor

By: Claire McPhee

Class of 2012, North Carolina State University

Many people had experience with cattle prior to veterinary school. I was not one of those people. And yet, when I approach a cow, I feel a little flutter in my heart. Among other things, this flutter has led me to a decision to focus my career around these wonderful creatures. Since my fellow food animal veterinary students have largely spent their lives around livestock, it turns out that I have a little bit of catching up to do.

2010 became “the summer of all things bovine.” In addition to working with two different dairy practices, I decided to spend some time on the farm. My destination was a mid-size Jersey dairy in New England. Jersey cows, I discovered, like to split their time between being incredibly friendly and trying to kill you. Most of the latter happens in the parlor, where they seem to forget their curious and gentle nature in favor of figuring out how to make life difficult for the milkers.

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Economic Issues Essay Contest

Here's yet another shot at some free money! 

Economics are a part of our daily lives, involving everything from taking out loans to deciding whether we want to buy a $2 soda or a $3 piece of pizza.  Economics will also play a part in our professional lives when determining treatment plans, business plans, and more! 

Your friendly SAVMA Economics and Professional Development Committee wants to hear from you!

What:  An essay, 1000 words or less, describing an economic issue affecting veterinary students and/or the veterinary profession as a whole.  Be sure to include at least one idea regarding how the issue may be confronted. 

For:  A chance to win one of the $250 prizes!!  The top two essays will receive $250.  While writing your essay, you can also think of the many economic opportunities you could apply that to!

Who to send to: SAVMA Economics and Personal Development Committee

Deadline:  December 1st, 2010


International Veterinary Exchange Committee Scholarships

Are you planning a grand trip to another country to learn about veterinary medicine? Want a chance at some easy cash to help pay for the trip? Look no further than here, with your International Veterinary Exchange Committee!

The IVEC is offering three individual international travel student scholarships, $500 each AND one IVSA Club Awards, $500. The club award is available for International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) chapters for events and activities related to international vet med.

Deadlines: Individual scholarship and IVSA Club Award applications are due February 1st, 2011

Applications will be posted on the SAVMA IVEC website soon:

Questions about this opportunity can be sent to:


Pfizer Animal Health Student Scholarship Program

Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health and American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) are pleased to announce the second annual Pfizer Animal Health Student Scholarship Program for 2011!  The initial program, launched in the fall of 2010, was a huge success with 222 students each receiving scholarships in the amount of $2500 for a total of over $500,000 in scholarship grants.

Pfizer Animal HealthThis program is open to current 2nd and 3rd year students at the veterinary colleges in the United States as well as students at Ross, St. George’s and St. Matthews Universities. Details on the scholarships as well as the applications can be found at and at

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Washington D.C. and you

As our profession continues to evolve, the veterinarians role in the political arena becomes increasingly important. How can you best prepare yourself for emerging issues facing veterinary medicine?

The 3rd annual Veterinary Student Legislative Day seeks to initiate your participation in the legislative process! Spending February 7-8, 2011 in Washington D.C., you will learn about current public policy topics, spend time on Capitol Hill visiting with legislators, and have the opportunity to explore D.C.!

If you are interested in learning more about how legislation works and what role you can play, I suggest you consider this opportunity. I attended a couple years ago and had a great experience. You get to meet like-minded students from across the country, talk with legislators about current veterinary issues and learn how to be effective with those communications. And who knows, you might even get a glimpse of someone famous!

Interested students should get in touch with the SAVMA delegate at their school for more information about attending. Registration ends November 1st, so hurry up!