Supermodel Cat

This handsome kitty, Roosevelt, belongs to Katie Brown from Cornell University. What a good looking cat!

Super Model PoseCover UpNap Time


Inconveniently Adorable

This adorable meme was submitted by Laci Taylor from Cornell University!


What is a veterinarian's role in DC?

Personal introduction

Hi! My name is Liliya Veliko and I am a rising third year student at North Carolina State University. I was grateful to be given the opportunity to be an extern for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for the month of June 2019. My interests include small and exotic animal practice, as well as policy.

As the only extern, I took a lot of sheepish selfies. But DC is too beautiful not to photograph! This was at a PAC event.



The AVMA Government Relations Division (GRD) Externship is a program where aHome away from home! veterinary student spends one month working with the AVMA office in Washington DC. As an extern, I spent the month attending congressional hearings, networking with veterinarians in government, attending political events such as receptions, and seeing the city! I really appreciated how the schedule can largely be personalized to suit the student; you can attend hearings related to your interests such as agriculture, One Health, business, or technology. By the end, I felt comfortable discussing important legislation for veterinary medicine, like VMLRPEA (Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act) and the deceivingly named Fairness to Pet Owners Act. Before this experience, I was pretty comfortable with my mental bubble of veterinary school, textbooks, and science.  The experience has given me a more well-rounded understanding of how the issues people care about become law.


Aw you’re going to be a veterinarian! …  so why are you in DC?

Veterinarians have many potential career options! When meeting other young professionals at congressional hearings, they were often surprised that a representative from the AVMA would be engaged with the topics of the hearing. While the public may think we only treat cats and dogs, we have interests in many fields – including agriculture, biological sciences, small business, One Health, drug regulations, food production, aquaculture, animal welfare, research, and laboratory animals. Though my personal goals include small animal and exotic animal private practice, I was able to learn about the variety of veterinary positions in policy, from working for the USDA to being a congressperson!


Valuable experiences and lessons learned

Veterinarians have so many more useful skills than you might think!

We focus so heavily on building our diagnostic skills in school, we do not realize we are also concurrently developing many other skills. Veterinarians are uniquely trained to consider animal health (of course), human health, nutrition, food safety, biosecurity, and effective communication. We are a group of highly driven people that tend to garner respect from others and are natural leaders. Imposter syndrome can make us feel like we are not qualified to be doctors, but I was able to see veterinarians confidently and competently apply their skills to all sorts of careers. Some of the positions I saw veterinarians fill while in DC are:

  • Congressmen (no DVM congresswomen – yet!)
Representative, and Dr. Ted Yoho! (Fl-R)Representative, and Dr. Kurt Schrader! (OR-D)
  •  Environmental activists and conservationists
  • Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) staff regulating import/export of animal products
  • Scientific consultants for governmental bodies
  • Legislative assistants for a congressperson or senator
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees working to ensure drug and product compliance 
  • Meat product quality assurance with Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
  • Officers of the Public Health Service Corp – a uniformed branch of the US Public Health Service


You can easily learn about matters relevant to you

One of the biggest surprises upon arriving to DC was witnessing how much of our government is based on conversations. Before the externship, the legislative process seemed somewhat grandiose and mysterious to me. After simply listening to congressional hearings and briefs, I realized the legislative process is more straightforward and accessible than I realized. Beyond the many news outlets, you can form your opinions directly from the conversations in the House and Senate, because many hearings are livestreamed and saved indefinitely on YouTube.

Congressional hearings are a great way to be exposed to a diversity of important issues. I attended hearings regarding agriculture, farmer resilience, the Ebola outbreak, federal funding levels, appropriate line speeds in swine processing plants, and the impact of student loans on small businesses.

Email services are an easy way to stay up to date on legislation relevant to veterinary medicine. The AVMA Advocate is a monthly informational email newsletter. The AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network ( is our grassroots network that emails you when taking action, like contacting your representative, would be especially powerful in your state or area. Both are an easy way to become a policy savvy veterinarian!

Room inside of a house office building in preparation for a hearing


People care, including politicians

I now realize I had come to DC with a slightly pessimistic view of government officials. It is easy to become jaded when we hear news outlets calling our leaders corrupt, inconsiderate, and lazy, especially in this time period of political divisiveness. After witnessing how tirelessly our leaders and their staff work, I realized I had absent mindedly bought into a negative narrative. Of course, there are shortcomings in our government, but I appreciated how much work it takes to keep our country running and, generally, how much people care.  When attending a hearing about agriculture, I met other interns working in diverse fields such as transportation and need based nutritional programs. Just as others may have been surprised to see a veterinary student interested in many topics, I was excited to meet people from so many disciplines collaborating. It was refreshing to see how much we all agree on and how we can share our passions.

I loved getting to spend time with other veterinary students doing internships around DC!


IVEC Summer Study Abroad 2019

By Kylie Zehner, Purdue University

To start off the summer after my first year of veterinary school at Purdue, I spent two weeks in the western cape of South Africa on a reserve called Hartenbos. I participated in a wildlife medicine and conservation program where we learned about the animals native to South Africa, different capture methods, reasons for capture and transportation, the different drugs, vitamins, and preventatives used on wildlife, and much more. We were led by Hein Schoeman, who is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced wildlife conservationist.

Day one was spent getting familiar with the area we were staying on, which included a safari tour of the reserve and my very first ride in a helicopter. We also spent time in our first lecture series, which took place in the classroom that is on the reserve. Each one of us students received a wildlife medicine textbook that we got to keep and take back to the United States with us, which was extremely helpful for studying purposes and learning more in depth about each topic we were lectured on.

By day two we were already taking part in the craziness of a sable and roan antelope capture in the Karoo, a desert about two hours away from our reserve. Since we hadn’t even had a capture method lecture yet, we were learning as we went. I got to watch Dr. Burger, their lead veterinarian, scope out the correct animals to be sedated and dart them with opioids that enabled us to work with the wild animals. We learned so much just on that first mission because we had to be alert and actively involved. With eleven of us students in the program at the time, we divided into two teams and that enabled each team to be responsible for administering different medicines to different animals. By the end of the program, we were all experts on dosing the different vitamins and preventatives, as well as properly administering them to each animal, whether that be subcutaneous or intramuscular. We had to learn to dose the medications by estimating the weight of the animal and using the concentration of each medicine to quickly calculate the correct dose. This could be quite difficult at times since the range of the animals is so drastic. For example, springbok weigh around 40 kilograms and the eland weigh over 1000 kilograms. Luckily, Hein has a better eye for estimating weights due to his many years of working with these animals and always ensured we were on the right track.

The remainder of our trip was much like those first two days. Everything was very weather dependent and wildlife captures tended to be spontaneous, so we did those when we had the chance and fit in lectures when we could. In total, we ended up working with springbok, eland, roan antelope, kudu, zebra, a cheetah, and sables. One of my favorite captures of the entire trip took place right on the reserve where we stayed. It was our first net gun capture with springbok and it was one of the most exhilarating, chaotic, and unique experiences I have ever been part of. There are almost no words to describe the way I felt standing in the back of Hein’s truck watching the helicopter fly overhead after a herd of springbok while Dr. Burger shot a net from the back seat directly on top of one of the small ruminants. As soon as an animal is captured under a net, we were pedal to the metal in that truck to get to the animal and safely restrain it. It is such a thrill that I hope I get to relive someday.

In just two short weeks, I learned an enormous amount of information about wildlife capture and medicine, which was pretty much novel to me. Even more than that, though, I made some amazing friendships and got to experience the South African culture and explore places I never knew existed. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am forever grateful. Thank you SAVMA and IVEC for helping me get through this journey.


Students being lectured in the classroom by Hein Schoeman (standing up front) about wildlife medicine and capture. Purdue students caring for a sick baby giraffe that was found motherless. We were responsible for taking his heart rate and respiratory rate while trying to stay huddled around to keep the animal warm and bring his body temperature back to normal. (I am in the white headband with stethoscope measuring the pulse)








Restraining a springbok during a successful capture and transport. This was taken on that first day in the Karoo. Us students are getting a short lecture on what is about to happen during the capture and transport that is to come by Dr. Burger.









Me petting a wild cheetah while under sedation. We spent two hours tracking her down on her reserve so we could replace her GPS tracking collar, which had stopped working properly. Transporting the still sedated cheetah on a gurney back onto the mountain side. Her collar had been successfully replaced at this point and they were ready to administer the agonist drugs to reverse her sedation state.












Ayane the giraffe interacting with the students during our safari adventure on the Hartenbos reserve. Ayane was rescued as an abandoned baby and raised by Hein Schoeman and his family so she is extremely quaint with humans and loves to interact. Me petting Ayane as she approached our vehicle on the reserve







Me administering vitamins to an eland after it had been darted with sedatives and was getting ready to be loaded up for transport to another reserve. Purdue students riding in the back of Hein’s truck while the helicopter flew overhead during a netgun capture mission.


Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Hey, Vet Gazetters! Do you feel that your school is lacking a super awesome club where you can meet with other students and talk about cool rehabiliation cases that have recently come through your hospital? Do you want to be a part of a national network of veterinarians and veterinary student interested in the same things you are? If so, check out the flyer below for more information on how to start a Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation club at your respective schools!

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 241 Next 5 Entries »