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Summer Enrichment Program Provides Academic and Hands-on Experience

July 28, 2008

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What's New ImageTen prospective veterinary students determined to improve their chances of getting into veterinary school are participating in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Summer Enrichment Program. The session runs from July 7 to August 8.

The Summer Enrichment Program provides specialized preparation and practical experience for college students who have overcome specific challenges along their path to higher education: educational or cultural disadvantages, financial need, language barriers, physical disabilities or other challenges.

Yasmin Williams, admissions director, states, "We are committed to increasing diversity to reflect the communities the profession serves. This program is a vehicle that will also allow students from disadvantaged backgrounds to better prepare themselves for the rigors of the profession before they apply."

Participants attend daily academic workshops for five weeks. They also spend several hours each day in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital to gain veterinary-related experience. They observe hospital practices and learn the inner workings of the clinics of cardiology, radiology, dentistry, behavior, dermatology, exotics, horses and food animals. Prospective applicants also practice admissions interviews, develop study skills and review for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Williams explains, "Summer Enrichment students see a variety of animals both large and small in clinics. They observe the range of a veterinarian's duties in a hospital setting and gain veterinary-related experience required for entry into the DVM program. They learn basic concepts of diagnosis and present case material from the teaching hospital—just as they would in veterinary school." 

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John Wesson, Class of 2010, coordinates the student activities and arranges the clinic sessions. He and a group of 10 teaching assistants tutor SEP students as well as arranging for extracurricular activities in the Davis area. He says that he and his fellow veterinary students appreciate the hard work and drive of the pre-vet participants to become veterinarians.  "It was so rewarding to work with them," Wesson notes. "Their enthusiasm gave us all a boost."

Summer Enrichment Program participants receive free instruction and clinical experience. Students receive a small stipend to help pay for travel and living expenses.

Places are limited and demand is high to enter veterinary school. In 2007, 1178  applicants competed for 131 seats in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Since the Summer Enrichment Program began in 1987, about half its participants have entered a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

For admissions information, please visit our Student Programs Web pages.

Media contact: Lynn Narlesky, Dean's Office, 530-752-5257, .

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