One of the primary goals of the College of Veterinary Medicine is to "up the value" of students' education through enhanced preparation. By making students better equipped to compete for top jobs, their salaries should offset the debt loads accumulated by many students in a DVM course of study.
The college recently launched new internship programs for students interested in careers in surgery, critical care or emergency medicine. These internships give second- and third-year students opportunities to work alongside faculty and staff in our hospitals while performing clinical duties prior to their fourth year rotations.
The college is also developing virtual reality simulations that give students life-like surgical practice with a scalpel without a living subject. The final digital product will be a 3D virtual reality program that simulates both human and animal anatomy and recreates the surgical experience better than almost any existing training method short of the real thing.
Students can also utilize the new Clinical Skills Laboratory in the college where they are able to hone their techniques using the future of learning technology - amazing models created by the special effects people in Hollywood. Among the many different activities students can practice in the Clinical Skills Laboratory include drawing blood from Petunia the alpaca or practice delivering calves from Frosty, a full-size model of a prize-winning Holstein cow. Using Frosty, students are able to practice delivering calves through difficult birth after difficult birth.
College faculty members continue to strengthen the curriculum in other ways to make Iowa State veterinary medicine graduates more "practice ready." New courses have been created to address needs in the important areas of animal welfare, entrepreneurship, personal finance and practice management. Student have the opportunity to work alongside Iowa State faculty veterinarians at the Iowa State Fair where they are responsible for the health of thousands of animals being exhibited as well as those participating in special events such as the Governor's Charity Steer Show. On campus, students can participate in our Foal Watch and Cow-Calf programs where they conduct exams and help with births, including C-Sections.
Even our student organizations help prepare their fellow student become practice-ready. Throughout the academic year, the clubs host wet labs in a variety of subjects to help students gain vital clinical skills.
Students also receive practice-ready skills in such venues as:
- Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital - located on the College of Veterinary Medicine main campus
- Large Animal Hospital - located on the College of Veterinary Medicine main campus
- ISU Dairy Farm - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences facility located just south of Ames, Iowa
- Iowa Veterinary Specialties - College of Veterinary Medicine satellite emergency and specialties hospital in Des Moines
- Swine Medicine Education Center - College of Veterinary Medicine affiliate education center in Audubon, Iowa
- Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center - affiliated with the College of Veterinary Medicine in Clay Center, Nebraska
- Blank Park Zoo - located in Des Moines