Questions? Comments?


Students at Oregon State learn how to rescue horses from ravines, and much more!

Editors note: SAVMA's Public Health and Community Outreach Committee offers a grant every spring to a veterinary school that is hosting a disaster preparedness activity.  The latest winner of the grant was Oregon State University. Read below to hear more about their event, and if you are interested in funding for a disaster preparedness activity at your own school, please contact the Public Health committee at

Oregon Veterinary Students participating in a disaster preparedness course spponsored by SAVMA's Public Health and Community Outreach Committee

By: Ashley Galen
Oregon State University, Class of 2013

Last summer I participated in an externship at a local equine practice where I met Dr. Shannon Findley, a recent graduate of UC Davis with a lot of enthusiasm for equine emergency response.  During veterinary school she took courses in large animal rescue and participated in their Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT).  Her drive to spread awareness to clients and fellow aid workers, veterinarians and firemen alike, showed me how important it is to be prepared for emergency situations.  

This drove me to set up an SC-AAEP workshop at Oregon State on equine emergency response, focusing on what can be done in an average practice to be prepared for a disaster of any magnitude.

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More than a mentor

Erica Burkland
Cornell University, '14

I met my mentor, Layla, in 2008 while I was working as a weekend receptionist at a large 24-hour referral hospital. I had been working there for just over a year while pursuing a master’s degree in social work when Layla was hired as an emergency vet. Although I don’t quite remember exactly when or how we started to become friends, I do remember that our first conversation went something like this:

L: So, what’s your deal?Erica and her mentor, Layla
Me: Excuse me?
L: What are you doing here? You’re too good at your job to be true.

When I then told Layla that, actually, I had recently decided to forgo completing my MSW in favor of pursuing vet school, she frankly said, “That’s what I was hoping.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Even from the early stages of our friendship, Layla went out of her way to help prepare me for a career as a veterinarian. Though I was “just a receptionist” while we worked together, she always made a point of teaching me whenever and whatever she could – paging me to radiology to view interesting radiographs, giving me my first suture lesson, even conducting lessons on acid/base disturbances and the different types of rodenticides on the rare days when the emergency service was quiet enough to allow us fifteen minutes to scarf down lunch together.

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EPDC Grant at work at UC Davis

Editor's note: The SAVMA Education and Professional Development offers a grant every spring to a veterinary school looking to fund an extracurricular activity, such as a wet lab or a lecture.  Last year's winner was UC Davis. Please read on to hear their summary of the event, and if you would like to know more information about funding an event at your own school, email the committee at

UC Davis Students at the Veterinary Pathology Club lab sponsored by SAVMA's EPDC Committee

On May 11th, 2011 the Veteinary Pathology Club at UC Davis held its first cow necropsy lab. The lab started with a small talk about safety during necropsies, common findings during necropsies and incidental lesions found during necropsies. The latter portion of the lab involved students necropsying cows with guidance from residents and a facultly member. Each cadaver was assigned an organ system to be focused on. For UC Davis Students at the cow necropsy labexample, one cow had the reproductive tract removed and the students were debriefed on normal structure, possible abnormalities seen in these organs, and possible findings you are looking for in these organs. The Veterinary Pathology Club will be using the EPDC grant from SAVMA to cover food for the pre-laboratory discussion and lab related expenses for the cow necropsy lab in this May 2012. Thank you SAVMA for your support!



SAVMA's Gov't Affairs Committee speaks on loss of subsidized loans

Dear Veterinary Medical Students,

As some of you may know, in response to the current economic challenges, there have been some adjustments to Federal budgets. A significant change that has taken place is the loss of subsidized loans to graduate and professional students. The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 was signed into law on August 2nd, 2011. The signing of this act into law made two very important changes to the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, which affects the majority of veterinary medical students utilizing loans to pay tuition and living expenses.
We would like to make you aware of the effort that the AVMA and your SAVMA representatives have put forth urging Congress to maintain the subsidized Federal Stafford loan for graduate and professional students.

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Meet your new SAVMA International Exchange Officer-elect

Steen Smith
Oregon State University

Description of duties: Support the IEO in the effort to facilitate exchanges, study abroad opportunities, and/or other international opportunities for members of SAVMA, as well as represent SAVMA at the two yearly International Veterinary Students' Assocation (IVSA) meetings.

In the next year my goals are to:

1. Create a comprehensive database of the policies of our member institutions in regards to international students participating in educational  opportunities.  

2. To better inform SAVMA members of the opportunities IVSA membership provides.  

3. To work closely with the IEO in support of her efforts to further develop international opportunities for our members.

Fun fact:
I am from Corvallis, Oregon and have worked in the veterinary field for the last 10 years, including the last 3 years as a Certified Veterinary Technician.  I enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.  I worked as a construction site foreman for 7 years before pursuing my undergraduate education.

contact Steen at: SAVMAIEO [at] gmail [dot] com