In mid-July,18 high schoolstudents from as far away as Texas and Puerto Rico landed at the UMass Hadley and South Deerfield Farms for the beginning of a different kind of summer adventure. The students were participants in the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program—a week-long immersion experience for junior and senior high school students seeking to learn about the field of veterinary medicine and the specific skills they'll need to develop for this career path. Dr. Katie Beltaire, veterinary and animal sciences, led the program, now in its second summer.
The week includes an overview of the veterinary profession and the academic preparation and animal experience required for becoming a competitive applicant to veterinary school. Students also complete hands-on rotations with the UMass Polled Dorset sheep, Boer goats, and Belted Galloway cattle, including lessons in animal handling and restraint, diagnostic imaging, parasitology, wound management, and comparative anatomy and physiology.