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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Imaging Staff Help Student Win Award

November 21st, 2011

Elisha AdkinsFourth-year student Elisha Adkins has loved every year of vet school but is looking forward to graduating and starting her career. “I’m glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she says. When she receives her DVM next spring, Adkins plans to settle in a rural area and focus her practice on cow-calf/feedlot medicine – for now anyway. She’s open minded about the future and credits vet school with helping her to realize “the absolute variety of options open to a DVM throughout their career. We can do anything we can imagine,” she says.

Like most vet students, Adkins will begin her career with a hefty debt load; the national average is upwards of $90,000. But that burden will now be a bit lighter thanks to her recent win of the Simmons Education Fund’s (SEF) Business Aptitude Award. Given to one student in the nation who demonstrates excellence in veterinary business analysis, Adkins earned the $18,000 scholarship researching a veterinary business case study. Using a topic and financial records supplied by SEF, Adkins analyzed the pros and cons of purchasing computed or digital radiography for a hypothetical vet clinic. She compiled her findings into three business options and wrote a formal essay and PowerPoint presentation.

While working on the scholarship, Adkins haunted the CVM radiography department. “I was in the department every single day,” she says, “and everyone there helped me.” Duane Ackley, CT/MRI technician, started the ball rolling by putting her in contact with radiology equipment companies and Becki Francis, veterinary technician, walked her through the logistics of computed radiography. Francis also shared her personal perspective on computed vs. traditional equipment. “She helped me gain an understanding of how the actual space allocation of a clinic would alter with the removal of a dark room, storage room, etc. which was a key point in my report,” says Adkins.

Also on the Adkins team was Dr. Sarah Nemanic who provided an overview of the function and resolution of digital radiography and took time out from reading rads to discuss the pros and cons of each technology. “All that information was incorporated somewhere in my report,” says Adkins.

“And last, but certainly not least is Dr. Stieger. I sent her my final report three days before it was due and asked her to read it over the weekend. She painstakingly combed through every detail, including the financial data, and offered numerous constructive suggestions.”

That kind of dedication to students is par for the course at CVM where small class sizes allow students plenty of opportunity to interact directly with everyone in the college. “The availability of faculty and staff contributes to student success,” says Adkins. “The time the imaging department put into my countless questions, and in helping me finalize this report was truly appreciated. In my opinion, there is no other CVM in the U.S. where students can get that type of one-on-one attention.”

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