April 1, 2011
No fooling. The weather was bad, but the event was impressive.
While many undergrads and professional students across the country took spring break as usual, the students of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine welcomed the National Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Symposium to the campus March 24-26, 2011.
This student-organized program, an event in the making for two years, brought 1,500 veterinary students from every veterinary school in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as 40 students from foreign veterinary programs. The event is believed to have been the largest such meeting in SAVMA history.
For three days, students attended specialty lectures and hands-on labs taught by school faculty members and other highly recognized clinicians from around the world. This unique education experience allowed veterinary students to gain skills integral to their future careers. Marking World Veterinary Year, they also listened to historical presentations about veterinary medical advances over the past 250 years that have led to the genesis of One Health and Veterinary Public Health.
Friday and Saturday, 10 simultaneous sessions took place in the school's teaching facilities. Students and faculty alike stepped up to welcome their guests, provide solid educational opportunities, escort students on tours of the facilities, and host memorable field trips despite less-than-ideal weather.
Events included an elegant evening at Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum with special guest speaker Dr. Marty Becker giving the keynote speech.
At the other end of the spectrum, some students braved the rain to go rafting on the American River before heading back to the classroom. SAVMA officers also conducted the business of student government and organized veterinary medicine during the symposium.
Dean Bennie Osburn had the opportunity to take some of the visiting executive board members of the American Veterinary Medical Association on a tour of the school.
School faculty, administrators and students invited their enthusiastic guests to return for further studies, perhaps for a rotation or residency -- during nicer weather, of course.