Successful weekend for vet med students

Tracy Deutmeyer

They know what they want to do in the future — and they are determined to go after it.

About 420 pre-veterinary students from 29 universities across the country visited the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine for the Vet Med Symposium on March 14-16 to get hands-on experience and a chance to meet other students and professionals in the field, said Amber Wade, a sophomore in animal science and co-chairwoman of the symposium.

The national symposium, which is held every year at a different university with a veterinary school and is sponsored by the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA), was organized by members of the ISU Pre-Vet Club this year.

“I think it was a positive experience for students all over the country. Most of the feedback we got was positive,” said Eva Wojcik, a co-chair of the symposium.

The symposium kicked off March 14 with a Welcomefest at the Scheman Building. On March 15, students attended seminars and lectures at the Vet Med College and also participated in “wet labs,” or hands-on labs, many involving work with small animals, Wade said.

Students also visited the National Animal Disease Center in Ames to learn about research involving different medications to treat animals and improve food quality for animals, Wade said.

A banquet and dance was held Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn Gateway Center.

Dr. Allen Miyahara, vice president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, took the stage at the banquet to speak about students’ concerns about life in vet school, Wojcik said.

“Dr. Miyahara helped students know what they’re getting into when they get into vet school. It wasn’t to discourage them, but let them know what it’s about,” Wojcik said.

In the weekend’s other events, two ISU students were selected for top officer positions for next year’s American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. Wade was chosen as next year’s president and Chris Koester, a sophomore in biology, was elected vice president.

Wade said she is excited about being elected as the next president and hopes to increase communication between the universities next year.

“We can choose to make it as successful as we want,” Wade said.

Members of the Pre-Vet Club, who have been planning for the symposium since August, are all APVMA members.

There are 27 colleges and universities across the country with a veterinary medicine school, Wade said. Each year schools place bids to have the symposium at their school.

The symposium will be held at Michigan State University next year, Wojcik said.