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Veterinary Medicine Partners with 4-H Youth Development

The Issue

There is a shortage of veterinarians in California, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 28,000 veterinary job openings nationwide by 2012. While all types of veterinarians are needed, the need for livestock veterinarians is greatest. The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges has recommended the development of programs to promote veterinary medicine to a diverse population. It also recommended developing meaningful mentoring relationships with youth to better promote the veterinary profession.

What Has ANR Done?

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Vet Student Outreach Club hosted a one-day interactive Veterinary Science Education Outreach event for 4-H members. 4-H members compared healthy and diseased organs of different animals in the anatomy lab. They viewed the internal organs and skeletons of a diverse array of animals. The youth saw demonstrations on electrocardiograms and learned techniques used to read x-rays. They concluded with an in-depth tour of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

The Payoff

4-H Introduces Youth to Vet Med Careers

More than 80 4-H members, ages 9 to 18, and adult volunteers from Sonoma and Lake counties learned about the increasing need for livestock veterinarians and about what it takes to become a UC Davis veterinary student. The group got an in-depth view of what a veterinary student does on a day-to-day basis. The youth left understanding the need to work hard and to take the right coursework as early as high school to achieve a career in veterinary medicine.

Clientele Testimonial

"In the end I had learned much about pursuing the career of a veterinarian and I look forward to it now, more than I ever did before." - Brianna Marsh, Kelseyville 4-H Club

"One parent said that his 12-year-old daughter was alive with her enthusiasm from the day, and the father commented that his career choices might have been different if he had this experience 30 years ago! I am most committed to doing this tour again next year." - Paul Palmatier, DVM and Sonoma County 4-H Volunteer


Supporting Unit: Veterinary Medicine Extension

Martin Smith, 530-752-6894, mhsmith@ucdavis.edu
Steven Worker, 530-754-8519, smworker@ucdavis.edu