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Saving Plastic Horses (and hopefully real ones too)

The delegates in your SAVMA House of Delegates work hard to help bring new and interesting programs to your schools. Here is an example of that work in action. Every year, the Education and Licensure Committee puts on a grant competition to help fund programs that cover topics not otherwise covered in the veterinary curriculum. One of the winners this year was Large Animal Technical Rescue Team at University of Florida. You can read about the event that they put on and check out the cool pictures. If you want to know more about what opportunities are available for funding through SAVMA, click the "contests and awards" link on the right.

Article by: Jaimie Miller

Class of 2012, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Technical Rescue Team (a component of its disaster response team “VETS”), DVM students from the Public Health and Service Club (PHSC), and a Florida Veterinary Reserve Corps veterinarian, trained with 35 firefighters from St. Johns County and Clay County Technical Rescue Teams over the April 2-4 weekend at the Star 4 Ranch.

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By: Dawn M. Fiedorczyk

Class of 2010, University of Pennsylvania

After sitting in classes for two and a half years entering clinics is a terrifying, yet exhilarating new experience.  All of the information that you studied and tried to store away in your brain now needs to be available, but not to regurgitate on a test paper but to use to save a life.  Nothing can quite prepare you for your first days in the hospital.  The new faces, protocols and requirements; it can all be very overwhelming.  However, as I get ready to graduate, I promise that it is conceivable. 

Just when you think you can’t possible take on another case, you can’t seem to muster the strength to do one more blood pressure on a feisty cat, give one more tube of banamine to a horse, restrain one more unruly parrot, talk to another overly concerned client for an hour after your day has ended, take one more order from a difficult resident or get any less sleep than you have over the past couple of days; clinics draw to an end and you wonder where time has gone. 

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That's Pathognomonic

By: Lana Chumney

Texas A&M University, Class of 2011

In our first year curriculum of vet school, we have a class called clinical correlates.  In this class we tour different production facilities to get a feel of how livestock are raised and what the producers, that will soon be our clients, do everyday.  This particular day we were touring the Beef Production Center.  It was cold and windy and was one of the few days in vet school that I can remember wishing I was sitting in a classroom. 

While looking at some cattle, our professor started quizzing us on Redwater Disease (Bacillary Hemoglobinuria).  He asked, “Now what sign is virtually pathognomonic for this disease?”  As our first year minds were still swarming with terms from anatomy and histology, we were perplexed.  After several seconds, he asked, “Does everyone know what pathognomonic means?”  I nodded a yes with the rest of my classmates.  Of course I knew this term; it seemed that I had heard it a million times just that week in microbiology.  I was also a master of root words, thanks to our anatomy class.  To my surprise his next question was, “Lana, please tell us what that means!”  As I flipped through my mental rolodex of medical terms I thought, “Patho= pathology.”  Yes, that’s correct.  And “pneumo = lung”.  This is too easy.  “Of course Dr. Smith, pathognomonic means pathology of the lungs.”  After learning the correct definition, I decided that this might just be pathognomonic of failure of correlates class!


Listen up! Student Externship Locator Available from AVMA

Externships are an important part of the veterinary curriculum as they expose students to vet med with a practical application method. Since I know the terminology can be confusing, I thought I would remind you that an externship is an opportunity for students to learn more about a specific area or get more hands-on time while they are still in school, generally without pay. An internship, on the other hand, is something you do after graduation to gain more experience, generally with pay. I was always a bit confused about this difference until it came time to set one up for myself.

Thanks to the AVMA, now there is an easy way for you to get more information about externship opportunities with the Student Externship Locator. It can be accessed directly at

This resource was developed in response to many requests for a way to make it easier to search for an externship position. Whether fulfilling a school requirement or looking to expand experience in a special interest area, the Student Externship Locator can help make that search easier. Employer posted externships may also be found on the AVMA's online job board, the Veterinary Career Center ( Take a look at both resources to start your search. Good luck!


Emerging Issues Committee April Newsletter

Here are some interesting links complied by the members of your Emerging Issues Committee. They work hard to find relevant topics that may not be included in your standard curriculum, so check it out! Some topics this time include bedbugs (ick!), colorectal cancer (even more ick!) and Salmonella contamination. Ok, I'm thoroughly grossed out! Time to get informed:


1. A New Breed of Guard Dog Attacks Bedbugs New York Times

2. Meat And Colorectal Cancer Risk: Scientists Suggest Potential Mechanisms Medical News Today

3. Salmonella In HVP Additive Prompts Potentially Massive Processed Food Recall Medical News Today

4. Researchers Report Progress on E. coli Test New York Times

5. Wildlife Serves As Indicator Of Potential Health Threats Medical News Today

6. Article misses an important pollutant from chicken farms. Environmental Health News

7. Equine dentistry bill gains Oklahoma House approval NewsOK

8. Folk Medicine Poses Global Health Threat to Primate Species BBC

9. AVMA Briefs Congress on Importance of Antibiotics Medical News Today

10. Don’t Buy Live Easter Season Animals, Health Official Says Los Angeles Daily News