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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Equine Vet Mentors OSU Students

January 27th, 2014

EagleFernStudentsOn a nice, cool morning in November, OSU vet med students gathered at beautiful Vintage Farms in Estacada, Oregon to participate in a castration clinic conducted by Dr. David Asmar of Eagle Fern Equine Hospital.

This opportunity for hands-on learning was made possible when Dawn Sayles, who raises championship mini horses at Vintage Farms, approached Dr. Asmar about holding a gelding clinic for her and her friend’s horses. Asmar immediately thought about including OSU students. “When I graduated from school there were minimal opportunities to experience the routine cases like uncomplicated castrations or dentals,” he says. “I remember splitting one castration between a large group of students, and only those of us that had a strong interest in equine had a chance to help.”

Dr. Asmar contacted OSU equine surgeon Dr. Michael Huber who put him together with the OSU Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Nine members of the club were able to travel north to participate.

At the farm, the students were divided into groups of three, supervised by Dr. Asmar, his associate Dr. Rosario, and head CVT Ashley Dunn. Working on sixteen horses, each student got the chance to be surgeon, anesthetist and assistant at least once, rotating between the three positions.

This was not Dr. Asmar’s first time mentoring vet students. “I am always interested in teaching as much as in learning,” he says “We always have students from high school, or vet techs, or veterinary students ride along at the clinic to get experience in what private equine practice is really like.”

AAEP president, Jared Sharp values the practical experience he got at the clinic. “Having sixteen horses to castrate was a great learning experience,” he says. “It was extremely beneficial to have mentors for the day who wanted us to take away as much as possible.” The students also appreciated the warm chili and soup that Sayles provided for lunch.

EaglefernThreeDr. Asmar considers the clinic a win-win event where he got as much out of it as the students and the horse owners. “Allowing them to get hands-on experience helps them put into practice what they learn in lecture, and prepares them for private practice,” he says. “At the same time, their questions and approach to problems helps me, as a practitioner, remember what it was like coming out of school, looking at all the possibilities.”

Sharp really appreciates the doctors and technician who gave up their Saturday to create a full day of real-world education. “Speaking for the group, I think all of us were thankful to have had the opportunity,” he says.


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