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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Good Advice For New Students . . . And The Rest Of Us

September 15th, 2017

Alex Rowell with his rescue dog Winston.

Dear class of 2021,

I want to be the first of many people to welcome you to this new and thrilling journey that you are about to partake on. All of your hard work as an undergraduate student has paid off and as you begin on a new voyage, I want you to reflect upon a couple of important things that are vital to your overall well-being.

  1. Love- You have joined this noble profession for the love you have for animals. Whether you grew up on a farm and can name all your favorite, horses, chickens, and/or cows or you came from a large city and have a strong attachment to your first cat or dog. The love and passion you have for animals has been reward by the fact you have been given this wonderful opportunity here at OSU. To be a healer and a caretaker bares a great responsibility to not only your patients, but to the clients who you serve.
  2. Drive- There is no secret on how hard it is to get into a veterinary medicine program. For the very seat you occupy, there are hundreds maybe thousands of students who wish they could be in your shoes. I am not reminding you of this fact so you feel bad, but I want you to acknowledge how brilliant, hardworking, motivated, disciplined, and self-sacrificing you are! No, I am serious please take a minute to reflect on this……………………… go ahead……………………………….I can wait…………………………………………..There is a reason why I bring this up, there will be times when you are sitting in your first year class and you begin to question your own intelligence and then start to feel like you do not deserve to be here, but I will let you in on a little secret, there is no one more deserving to be here at OSU’s veterinary medicine program than you! Please NEVER forget that.
  3. Compassion- I am not talking about just having compassion for your patients and clients, I am talking about having compassion for yourself and your classmates. There will be times where that little voice inside of you will come up and whisper in your ear “try harder” or “why are you not as good as so and so” or “you are so dumb; how did you not know that.” These self-defeating statements and beliefs plague the veterinary profession and at what cost? Dr. Kristin Neff has three important elements of self-compassion to live by: self-compassion over self-judgment, common humanity over isolation, mindfulness over identification. If you remember to be warm, reflective and understanding towards yourself instead of doubting your own abilities, you will be a better learner. If you remember that you and your classmates are not alone and there are hundreds of people here to help you or one of your classmates, you will never have to feel you are the only one suffering. If you just sit with your current success and failures instead of ignoring them or suppressing them, you will be able to experience both the highs and lows of what these next four years have to offer.

I want to welcome the class of 2021 to Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Never forget the love you have for this profession, the drive that keeps you going after 8 to 10 hours of studying and the compassion you have for your patients and yourself. Stay voraciously hungry and you will find that the next time you put on a white coat, you will have a DVM after it.


Dr. Alex Rowell

CVM Wellness Coordinator and staff therapist




Magruder Expansion Update

August 23rd, 2017

After many meetings between architects and stakeholders, the first concept drawings of the Magruder Expansion are done.

Interior room sizes and details are still being fine-tuned, but the location and size of building additions has been decided and includes a new lecture hall, more space for the small animal hospital, faculty offices, and a space for the oncology service to house a linear accelerator. The Linac will allow the hospital to offer radiation oncology to their patients, and allow students to get first-hand knowledge of the field.

Videos Remind Us Why We Love Our Pets

August 23rd, 2017


Austria Looks To Oregon For Camelid Expertise

August 23rd, 2017

The clinical skills lab at the Veterinary Medicine University Vienna features many animal models for practicing things like physical exams and inserting catheters.

The First International Camelid Congress in Vienna, Austria featured four speakers from Oregon, including Dr. Chris Cebra, Dean Sue Tornquist, and OSU alum Rachel Oxley. OSU has been a world leader in camelid research for thirty years. Dr. Cebra has written or co-authored over 70 scientific articles concerning camelids, and has been involved with over 40 camelid research projects.

Nearly thirty camelid owners and sixty veterinarians attended the two-day conference at the Veterinary Medicine University Vienna. Camelids are becoming more popular in Austria, and the conference sought to broaden attendees  knowledge of camelid medicine.

The third oldest vet school in the world, Veterinary Medicine University Vienna has more than 2000 students. “Its interesting to see a different approach. There is a lot of attrition as they go through the five-year program; over 200 start in a class and they only graduate about 100,” says Dr. Tornquist. ” These students are right out of high school so they are learning undergrad at the same time they are starting their veterinary education.”

While attending the conference, Dr. Tornquist took a tour of the college where she was particularly interested in their clinical skills lab which contained many models for practicing things like placing catheters and palpating. She would like to create a similar lab at OSU. “In Europe they do a lot more with models and keep the use of live animals to a minimum,” she said. “We are looking at the best way to combine models and live animals to give our students the best experience. For example, we start to teach physical exams in the ‘Animal Care and Handling’ class. Then in the second year, they are expected to do physical exams in anesthesia class, and we have felt they are not quite as prepared as they could be. Physical exams are one of those things you need to practice over and over to feel confident about your proficiency.”

OSU College of Veterinary Medicine currently has several animal models including those that allow students to listen to different heart or lung sounds, and models they can bandage or suture. “If we’re really going to do this right, we need to add more,” says Dr. Tornquist.



Enthusiastic High Schoolers Try Out Veterinary College

August 23rd, 2017

Every summer the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine introduces a group of academically talented, low-income, and minority high school students to the world of veterinary medicine through the OSU Summer Veterinary Experience. The program represents one of many initiatives at OSU that support President Ray’s mission to promote diversity at the university. It also gives the participants an early introduction to college life, and helps them learn teamwork and leadership skills.

Last week, twenty-four carefully-selected young people with a passion for animals moved into the Cauthorn dorm, ate in the dining hall, and attended classes at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Mentors and faculty from the college introduced them to veterinary topics like equine acupuncture, small animal rehabilitation, surgery skills, and animal anatomy. The participants also worked on a research project.

“Our faculty work hard to provide interesting, real-world classes that will engage the interest of these talented young people,” says Dean Susan Tornquist. “Many past participants came to the program with a vague interest in veterinary medicine, among other fields, but they left with a passion for the profession.”

Joy Moore looks through a refractometer to measure total protein of a blood sample.

Admittance to the program is based on academic performance, family income, ethnic background, and a written essay. Twenty of the students selected were from cities and towns in Oregon. This year’s students have a 3.69 grade point average.

“Many of the attending students come from low-income families. This program gives them a glimpse into college life they may not have had otherwise,” says admissions coordinator Tess Collins. “Our goal is to provide a realistic understanding of the field of veterinary medicine, and to get participants excited about higher education, even if they decide veterinary medicine isn’t for them.”

The program offers scholarships, including housing and meals, to students who meet established criteria. The application cycle will be open again in March 2018. For more information, visit vetmed.oregonstate.edu/youth-summer-program.

The Summer Veterinary Experience would not be possible without the following volunteers:

  • Sara Smith
  • Brian Dolan
  • Dan Rockey
  • Luiz Bermudez
  • Claire Couch
  • Ling Jin
  • Maureen Larson
  • Stephany Vasquez-Perez
  • Nadette Stang
  • Liz Harbert
  • Pat Chappell
  • Janell Bishop-Steward
  • Travis Feldsher
  • Dr. DeMorias
  • Dr. McKenzie
  • Dr. Magnusson
  • Dr. Jennifer Johns
  • Dr. Scollan
  • Dr. Jana Gordon
  • Dr. Meritet
  • Dr. Semevolos
  • Dr. Allende
  • Dr. Mecham

A Pair of Bassetts Brighten Up the Hospital

July 13th, 2017

Dr. Alaina Moon and Dr. Silvia Funes with clients Gari Aman and Barb Hansen.

Repeat clients of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital often become friends. Barb Hansen and Geri Aman have been bringing their family of Basset Hounds to the VTH for years and are everyone’s favorite visitors. “Dr. Moon and I love when they come to the hospital,” says Dr. Silivia Funes. “I love how sweet and stubborn the dogs are and they have the best dog moms ever.”

On a recent visit, Hansen and Amen brought a cheery gift for the hospital: a portrait of their dogs, Gus and Maron, by Corvallis artist Carrie Tasman. It now hangs in the exam room hallway.

“They are exceptional clients,” says Dr. Funes. “They even invited us to Gus’s fourteenth birthday party last year.”

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