CVM Welcomes High School Students for Advanced Veterinary Academy

Published 6/11/2024

This week, 12 high school students with an interest in veterinary medicine are participating in the Advanced Veterinary Academy at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. AVA organizers design the immersive program to give attendees the experiences of actual veterinary students. The program simulates the veterinary curriculum and its rigors, allowing participants to take a deep dive into important aspects of veterinary school, from the application process to didactic and clinical experiences.

Celeste Morris, DVM, MBA, MPVM, and an AVA student palpate a cow at Foremost Dairy.
Celeste Morris, DVM, MBA, MPVM, and an AVA student palpate a cow at Foremost Dairy.

Doug Tindall, coordinator of student recruitment at the CVM, is the leader and organizer of the program. Throughout the three-day schedule, Tindall and CVM students working as camp counselors, lead the high school students through different educational experiences, including lectures and clinical rotations with faculty members. Participants get to learn about different veterinary specializations during the AVA, including neurology, anesthesiology, and pathology, as well as emergency medicine and critical care, hard tissue surgery and more.

An AVA student learns how to perform an ultrasound on a horse in the MU Veterinary Health Center.
An AVA student learns how to perform an ultrasound on a horse in the MU Veterinary Health Center.

Anna Tarpey, DVM, who graduated from the CVM in May, participated in the AVA when she was in high school. “I was exposed to the various disciplines in veterinary medicine early on in my education, which allowed me to have a better understanding of the profession as a whole and what options would be available to me in the future,” said Tarpey.

Tarpey said the people she met at AVA had an important impact on her preparation for college. “At the AVA I was I was able to make lasting connections with both the faculty and students,” she said. “That was very meaningful to me, especially being apprehensive about attending such a large university while I was in high school at the time.”

CVM Welcomes High School Students for Advanced Veterinary Academy
Angela Royal, DVM, MS, DACVP, and AVA students use a multiheaded microscope to study pathology slides.

Tarpey believes the hands-on experience she acquired during the program made a big difference in her veterinary journey. “The AVA was probably the single most eye-opening experience for me in my pre-veterinary career,” said Tarpey. “I was shown the ins and outs of the veterinary school and the profession and knew exactly what I was signing up for when I applied for veterinary school. I cannot think of a better way to give yourself a sneak peek into what life as a veterinary student is like.”

“This provides a comprehensive perspective into the most integral stage of becoming a veterinarian, which is veterinary school,” says Tindall. “AVA helps solidify participants’ decision on whether this profession is for them, through the added insight into a veterinary curriculum, in addition to newly acquired knowledge of specialized clinical fields. Additionally, they gain knowledge of alternative career options. The AVA touches on all aspects of veterinary school to fully inform them of their career prospects and the educational process.”

Additional photos from the Advanced Veterinary Academy can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1032795528329656&set=pcb.1032796408329568

By Nick Childress