AAEP Commission on Veterinary Sustainability: Student Programs

The AAEP Commission on Equine Veterinary Sustainability's Student Subcommittee is spreading word about the positive changes in equine practice to future veterinarians through multiple channels.
equine veterinary students
The AAEP Commission’s Student Subcommittee is sharing the news about all the positive changes in equine practice with prospective future veterinarians. | Getty Images 

The AAEP Commission on Equine Veterinary Sustainability’s Student Subcommittee includes Rhonda Rathgeber, DVM, PhD, and Scott Toppin, DVM, DABVP, as co-chairs and AAEP president elect Tracy Turner, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, as officer liaison. Members serving include Drs. Liz Arbittier, Annie Chavent, Callie Fogle, Alan Goldhahn, Eleanor Green, Crystal Lee, Paul Schiltz, Greg Schmid, Holly Stewart, Maureen Sutter, Sara Tufts, Zoe Williams, and Ingrid Wolff.  

Equine veterinary students often express they are discouraged from joining equine practice from all sides. It could be a faculty member at their veterinary school, an older equine doctor they meet on an externship, or an early-career associate struggling in their first position. For those who love working in equine practice, this is discouraging. When asked about the most important thing equine students need from established practitioners, Turner replied, “To understand that there is no better time than now to be an equine veterinarian!” With paradigm shifts taking hold throughout the profession, improved compensation packages, work schedules, hours worked per week, and practice cultures are becoming more common.   

Student Subcommittee’s Work

The Student Subcommittee is spreading word about these positive changes through multiple channels. “The subcommittee has developed a slide show that can be personalized by the presenter to discuss with veterinary students not only the opportunities, but the enjoyment of equine practice,” Turner said. “This presentation is being made at every veterinary school this year by local AAEP volunteer practitioners or members of the subcommittee.” 

The subcommittee is also focused on helping future equine doctors learn basic skills. “The subcommittee is pushing for scholarships to help fund students’ attendance at the different offered skills courses for students,” Turner said. Multiple resources for students are also available on the AAEP’s online Student Hub. These resources include the career center, membership directory, case studies, and the “Core Competencies for New Veterinary School Graduates in Equine Practice,” which is an extensive clinical skills list intended to assist students during externship or internship opportunities.   

How Equine Veterinarians Can Assist the Student Subcommittee

Turner suggested several things equine practitioners can do on their own to assist the commission’s efforts. “Be positive when students visit, engage the students on the cases they may see, and tell your stories about why you love equine practice,” he advised.  

If you have an opportunity with local colleagues to sponsor a “truck day,” these events can be wonderful for veterinary students. Each ambulatory practitioner creates a case, describing the signalment and clinical signs, and the student collects a history, asks questions about the physical exam, and asks for imaging or laboratory results. As the student works through the case, the practitioner shows what they have available on the truck to diagnose and treat the case, provides imaging and lab results, and helps them think through the process. As students circulate to each truck station, they begin to develop a rhythm for investigating a clinical case.  

Final Thoughts

Multiple groups of equine veterinarians are making a difference for students all year long. You too can join the AAEP’s Student Subcommittee in sharing the news about all the positive changes in equine practice. 

Stay in the know! Sign up for EquiManagement’s FREE weekly newsletters to get the latest equine research, disease alerts, and vet practice updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Trending Articles
Veterinarian strokes and communicates with horse outdoors
Policies for Emergency Services in Equine Practice 
Horse Joint Injection
FDA Letter Advises Veterinarians to Use Bimasone Instead of Unapproved Drugs 
White line disease on horse hoof
White Line Disease in Horses
Happy to help
AAEP Commission on Veterinary Sustainability: A New Approach to Equine Internships
Get the best from EquiManagement delivered straight to your inbox once a week! Topics include horse care, disease alerts, and vet practitioner updates.

"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.