Archived News

Summer Enrichment Program Benefits Profession, Too

July 13, 2009


Getting into veterinary school has never been easy. Some veterinary school applicants, however, face greater barriers than their peers on the way through the highly competitive process of applying to veterinary school.

To broaden the pool of talented applicants and assure the success of students who enter veterinary school, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine sponsors the Summer Enrichment Program.

Participants find a range of activities to gain veterinary-related experience, strengthen their applications, enhance interview and test-taking skills and learn the scope of professional opportunities. 

Overcoming barriers

Each participant selected has overcome some challenge on the path to higher education. This obstacle may be an educational or cultural disadvantage, financial hardship, language barrier or physical disability that has resulted in difficulties at home or hiccups in school performance. School officials, faculty members and current veterinary students provide guidance, encouragement and opportunities to build relevant skills.

Practical experience

The five-week intensive summer program includes the opportunity to see how veterinary specialists diagnose and treat their patients. In weekly rotations, at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, participants shadow  veterinary students as they work during their final year of veterinary school in different clinics with horses, exotic animals, small pets or livestock. SEP students observe radiology, dentistry, dermatology, behavior, cardiology and other specialties.

Yasmin Williams, director of admissions, states, "Summer Enrichment students see a variety of animals in the teaching hospital. Participants gain veterinary-related experience that is 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."

Afternoons, students hit the books, practice for the GRE exam, work on writing and other communications skills, listen to presentations about career options and take laboratory workshops to familiarize themselves with the scope of course work.

Benefits to students, school and profession

The school benefits from the opportunity to identify some of the most promising and motivated prospective students, explains Yasmin Williams, admissions director. "We are also committed to increasing diversity to reflect the communities the profession serves. This program allows students from disadvantaged backgrounds to better prepare themselves for the rigors of the profession before they apply."

Since the Summer Enrichment Program began in 1987, about half of the participants have entered a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program. 

This year's program runs July 6 through August 7. Students attend free of charge and receive a $500 stipend to defray expenses.

Allie Jones, a member of the DVM Class of 2011, serves as the coordinator, arranging schedules, veterinary student aides and extracurricular activities. She says, "Working with the SEP students is a privilege; they are some of the most attentive and engaging undergraduates that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They have all made incredible sacrifices to pursue their goals, and their dedication to a career in vet med is inspiring. I look forward to working with them as colleagues in the very near future."

The following students have been selected to participate in the 2009 Summer Enrichment Program:

Loren Rodriguez Colorado College
Sharon Kim UC Davis
Therese Bruno Cal Poly Pomona
Christine Tat UC San Diego
Raymond Wong UC Davis
Damion Walters Cal Poly Pomona
Nicole San Jose UC Davis
Blanca Camacho UC Davis
Alice Chan UC Davis
Alexis Galvez University of San Diego











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