The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2021 celebrated the transition from classroom to clinics during the college’s annual White Coat Ceremony Oct 13. The event was held to mark the veterinary students’ successful completion of two years of study of basic veterinary sciences and their move into their clinical training.
The first two years of preclinical training provided them with a foundation in biomedical sciences and included courses in anatomy, physiology, cell and molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, virology and toxicology. They also learned fundamentals in clinical disciplines that they will need for the rest of their veterinary education including, anesthesiology, clinical pathology, radiology, public health and medicine and surgery.
They will next spend 19 months working in the Veterinary Health Center’s Small Animal, Food Animal and Equine hospitals and the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, as well as pursuing preceptorships in private practices and with public agencies on their way to completing their doctorate of veterinary medicine
The 115 members of the class selected a family member, friend or mentor to present and assist them into their laboratory coats.
CVM Dean Carolyn Henry, DVM, MS, told the students that the entry-level practice skills provided at the CVM are second to none, due to the length of time students spend in clinical training.
“Regardless of whether your work uniform remains a white coat, or becomes coveralls, scrubs, a military uniform, or business attire, it’s truly an exciting time to be a veterinarian.,” she said. “Our role in animal, human, and environmental health has never been more important than it is today and that role changes and expands every year. I encourage each of you to be ready to embrace change and the opportunities that change presents. Remember, every good thing that has ever happened in your life happened because something changed.”
John Dodam, DVM, MS, PhD, chairman of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, welcomed the students across the parking lot to begin work in the Veterinary Health Center, and congratulated them on finishing their last week of final exams.
“Unfortunately, you will have a few more multiple choice tests in your future, with the National Veterinary Licensing Exam being the most notable,” he said. “But, most of the tests you take from here on out will be given in a little different format. Indeed, many of the tests will be administered by worried clients with questions, by cattle with increased respiratory rates, by itchy dogs, or by lame horses.”
Class President Travis Inman provided the response on behalf of his peers. He began by thanking the family, friends, faculty, administration, staff, alumni and donors for them vital role they have played in the class’s education. Inman took the opportunity of making a public address to share one of his favorite analogies.
“An alloy is a combination of two or more raw metallic elements,” he said. “Alloys are often selectively implemented into the products of our everyday lives because they have the ability to resist brittleness and corrosion while simultaneously exhibiting high levels of adaptability.
“When we came together in August 2017 for V.E.T. (Veterinary Enrichment and Teambuilding) and our first didactic instructional period, analogously, we did so not as an alloy, but instead as raw elements; each with our own unique properties and characteristics.
“Instead of continuing solely as these individual elements, newfound challenges allowed us to appreciate that forming an alloy, now 115 elements strong, would be the best way forward.”
He continued, “This week, as we cross the parking lot into the Veterinary Health Center, this alloy we have formed, currently present in its basic shape and without defined function, through clinical experiences will soon be crafted into an edged, precision instrument.
“As this process commences, take your time, keep the angle correct, and don’t remove too much material with each sharpening. The attention and care you place into this edge will define you one day as a veterinarian, as a professional, and as a member of your community.”
View additional photos on our Facebook page.