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The 2018 Externship Blog Project is ready to roll

Photo of the 2018 OVC Externship Blog Project studentsThe summer between third and fourth year marks a significant milestone for student veterinarians at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College.

Beginning with an eight-week externship in a rural veterinary practice, they move from lectures and labs into a year of intensive clinical and diagnostic training. It is a defining experience as they move from the classroom to the clinic.

Here they have the opportunity to hone their skills working side-by-side with practicing veterinarians. They will refine their communication, technical and problem-solving skills and interact one-on-one with clients.

“The hands on and case-based learning experiences that the externship offered was invaluable to starting my career,” says OVC 2017 DVM graduate Melissa Wagner. “This experience laid the ground work for my surgical skill and helped to build my confidence as a young veterinarian.”

Supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), students must complete the eight-week Externship Course between third and fourth year in a rural veterinary practice that works with food animals and/or equine, as well as companion animals.

Started in the mid-1980s, the externship course provides practical experience to student veterinarians as they begin their final year of study. They benefit from the mentorship and expertise of practicing veterinarians, many of whom have been hosting students for more than 20 years.

“The veterinary practices who host students are critical to our DVM program. Along with their valuable mentorship, they evaluate students on core competencies in clinical, diagnostic and communication skills – skills that are integral to them as they start their veterinary careers,” says OVC dean Jeff Wichtel. “Students experience the real-world blending of medicine, business and compassionate care that characterizes modern veterinary practice.”

Once again this summer, you’re invited to follow along as DVM students share their experiences at veterinary practices across Ontario and other locales through the Externship Blog Project.

The 10 students we’ll be following this summer have varied interests but share a passion for veterinary medicine and the many facets of veterinary care, whether for companion, equine, exotic or food animals - from emergency medicine and clinical care to preventative health care and public health.

Their posts will be a window into their world as they delve into the experiences and opportunities their externships offer them.

Learn more about these student veterinarians and follow their journey this summer during the Externship Blog Project at ovc.uoguelph.ca/externship.