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At Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, students begin their surgical training in their very first semester.
And that training runs throughout the entire four years a student spends on campus.
The College of Veterinary Medicine teams up with area shelters and rescues to provide free wellness and spay/neuter care for shelter and rescue animals in the college's hospital facilities. Participating shelters and rescues bring their new animals to Iowa State where 3rd year veterinary students, under the supervision of clinicians, provide medical assessments and preventive care, as well as spay/neuter surgeries as part of their Surgical Education Program.
During the surgical laboratory class students will conduct:
The program provides students the opportunity to learn about canine and feline preventative care for all life cycles including vaccines and parasite treatment, prevention and productions. This has a significant impact on preparing students for their fourth year clinical rotations and life as a veterinarian.
At the conclusion of the 2017 spring semester, the veterinary students have helped almost 600 dogs and cats from 20 shelters on their journey to forever home.
The program has also evolved including a 2nd year surgery lab where students neutered 32 tom cats during the 2017 spring semester during a live surgery laboratory.
"The Junior Surgery and Community Outreach Program helped me gain confidence, valuable experience and reminded me why I was willing to go to four more years of college to be a veterinarian. I gained my first real doctor-like experience due to this program, when one of my patients didn't recover well from anesthesia and surgery. I took care of my cold, depressed, trembling patient throughout the night. It allowed me to see first-hand how my efforts made a real impact on her recovery. The experience greatly improved my confidence in my own abilities to problem solve and treat patients. It is extremely gratifying to know that she is now healthy and happily adopted.
– Hilary Opdahl
Class of 2018