June 2017 - Vol. 12, No. 6
First sponsored Chinese students earn DVMs since 1949
This year’s commencement exercises for Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine featured a historic trio of graduates: the first set of formally sponsored Chinese students to earn Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees since 1949.
A fourth student earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. All four students, Yaoqin Shen, Jing Li, Bo Liu and Yi Ding, were supported by the China Scholarship Council through a groundbreaking partnership with the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health at Kansas State University, which was originally signed in 2012.
“This will be an end of study of veterinary medicine in school, but a new start of a lifelong learning,” add Dr. Jing Li, a class of 2017 K-State graduate. “The learning of veterinary medicine is not only about knowledge and skills, but also further understanding of this profession and what we as veterinarians can do for the well-being of animals and humans. I am grateful that the U.S.-China joint DVM program has provided me a great opportunity to look at the grand view of veterinary medicine in both China and US.”
“This is a momentous occasion for the U.S. China Center for Animal Health,” said, Dr. Tammy Beckham, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The graduation of the first class of students from Kansas State University is truly an occasion to celebrate. The fabric of this Center speaks to the globalization of veterinary medicine and our ability as partners to impact future generations of veterinarian professionals in the U.S. and China. U.S. and Chinese students that are graduating from this class and classes to come will have the opportunity to learn not only about veterinary medicine in our partner country, but will also have the opportunity to experience and learn about each other’s culture. I have no doubt the students graduating as a part of this program will go on to collaborate and build relationships within the U.S. and China and forge a true One World, One Health, One Medicine approach.”
On May 31 and June 1, the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program celebrated the graduations of this historic group of students through its annual homecoming. The program has engaged a large group of institutions and sponsoring partners, which included senior executives of the China Scholarship Council, Zoetis, Banfield Pet Hospital, the Consulate General of China in Chicago, Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, K-State Olathe, Kansas Department of Agriculture, JinYuBaoLing Bio-Pharmaceutical Company, and Shor-Line, as well as deans from partnering veterinary colleges in the U.S.
“The U.S.-China joint DVM Program and partnership have provided numerous benefits to both the College of Veterinary Medicine and to Kansas State University,” said Ruth Dyer, senior vice provost at Kansas State University. “Internationalization is one of the common elements of the university’s K-State 2025 visionary plan, and this program directly contributes to those efforts. Our international students bring new ideas, new perspectives and a wide variety of experiences to the university and enrich the educational environment for all of our students, faculty and staff.”
“In October 2012, the China Scholarship Council and Kansas State University signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint DVM program, filling the gap in our country’s veterinary education, and opening a new chapter in further collaboration of veterinary medicine between China and the United States,” said Jinghui Liu, Secretary-General, China Scholarship Council. “During implementation of the program, we have received strong support from Kansas State University and other partnering universities in the United States, to whom I would like to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the China Scholarship Council.”
Ming Wang, vice president of the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, expounded on Liu’s comments.
“Chinese modern veterinary education was originated from the West,” Wang said. “In the early 20th century, several outstanding students were sent by the government to study in the United States and Europe for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees. After their return, they established veterinary schools in China. This U.S.-China Joint DVM Program not just marks the second time of veterinary collaboration between the U.S. and China, but also opens a new era in the veterinary histories of both countries. The Chinese DVM graduates are like seeds, which have been soaked in the nutrient --- American veterinary education and will blossom and fruit in the rich land of China!”
The U.S.-China joint DVM scholarship program is sponsored by Kansas State University, the China Scholarship Council, Zoetis/International Veterinary Collaboration for China, the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and Banfield Pet Hospital. The U.S.-China Center for Animal Health initiated and has led the program through partnerships with the governments, universities and animal health industry in the U.S. and China since its establishment in 2012.
“The U.S.-China joint DVM program advances veterinary education and promote the development of animal health industry in China,” said Rimma Driscoll, vice president of Zoetis. “These four DVM students will be the pioneers to bring the revolution to veterinary profession and education. Zoetis is so proud to be part of this program and will continue to support more DVM students.”
“Banfield Pet Hospital is proud to partner with the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health on the U.S.-China joint DVM program and do our part to facilitate the sharing of best practices in veterinary medicine between the United States and China,” said Dr. Daniel Aja, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield. “These graduates will have the opportunity to positively influence the way veterinary medicine is practiced in their local communities back in China, magnifying this program’s impact and making a better world for pets.”
“The relationships these Chinese students have built over five years of working with U.S. veterinarians and veterinary students will open new lines of communication between animal health professionals in both countries,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, CEO and dean of K-State Olathe and former dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The U.S.-China Joint DVM Program consists of one year pre-veterinary program at Kansas State University and four year veterinary program at Kansas State University or its partnering schools in the U.S. The homecoming event included reports from 19 of the students who shared anecdotes and other memorable experiences as pre-veterinary students at Kansas State University and as veterinary students enrolled respectively at Kansas State University, the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and the University of California, Davis.
“The first year in this program is wonderful,” said Hao Shi, who is a pre-veterinary student. “I met a lot of amazing veterinarians, excellent teachers and aspiring veterinary students. Living in their presence makes me a better person on my way to pursue my dream. I really appreciate the chance of being a part of U.S.-China joint DVM program.”
One of the main goals of the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program is to help universities in China become accredited at the same standards set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
“The U.S.-China Joint DVM Program provides a wonderful opportunity for the U.S. veterinary profession to grow our collaborative relationship with our Chinese veterinary colleagues,” said Dr. Joe Kinnarney, AVMA immediate past president. “We may be separated by a body of water, but veterinary medicine in both of our countries faces the same challenges. If we are to collectively meet those challenges and continue to achieve great things on behalf of veterinary medicine, it is critically important for the AVMA to continue working together with the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health at Kansas State University and its partners, particularly the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association.”
Dr. Andrew Maccabe, CEO for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, praised the program for its overall impact on the future of veterinary medicine.
“Increased international engagement is a key goal for the AAVMC,” Dr. Maccabe said. “For several years, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine has been a leader in this area. Health and disease problems are inherently global in nature, so promoting human and animal health needs to be addressed in a collaborative way with partners around the world. We appreciate China's shared interest in achieving excellence in veterinary medicine, and we appreciate the cultural and academic enrichment this exchange program offers.”
Dr. Jishu Shi, director of U.S.-China Center for Animal Health applauded the first Chinese DVM graduates’ achievement as the conclusion of the celebration on May 31.
“This group of Chinese DVMs are the goodwill ambassadors of the U.S. and China,” said Jishu Shi. “The successful completion of their DVM studies in the U.S. is the realization of their first career dream. Our students have worked very hard in the last five years. I am confident that they will chase bigger and better dreams in China when they help the next generation students become better veterinarians.”
Getting an article published in an academic journal can be quite an accomplishment — even for a seasoned researcher. To have that work featured on the cover of a journal is rarer yet. Dr. Valerie Head, can now add that accomplishment on top of earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in May.
The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science selected "Techniques for Nonterminal Blood Sampling in Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)," as the lead cover article in its March 2017 issue. Dr. Head wrote the article as a student under the guidance of Dr. David Eshar, assistant professor, companion exotic pets, wildlife & zoo animal medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and with help from Dr. Melissa Nau, a former intern in the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University.
“This is a nice gesture and an honor for anyone, let alone a student,” Dr. Eshar said. “JAALAS is the most respected journal in its field, and we had received numerous responses from people who saw the article. This is important work. Black-tailed prairie dogs are used as an animal model for research on gallbladder stones and several infectious diseases, kept in zoological collections and also as privately-owned pets, so having proper techniques for obtaining blood samples would be very valuable for that purpose. ”
“I had been unable to find where a comprehensive, instructive resource on the appropriate techniques for venipuncture and the collection of nonterminal blood samples had ever been published in regard to this species,” Dr. Head explained. “The detailed and illustrated information we presented in the article can aid clinicians and researchers in handling these animals and in performing venipuncture and anesthesia. Having this work put on the cover of the journal is very exciting.”
After graduation, Dr. Head said she plans to work in a small animal and exotic medicine practice in Texas, where she will treat similar animals in a clinical setting, and continue contributing to veterinary medical literature.
Meet Dominica Genda and Raymond Sulle, veterinary students from Sokoine University in Tanzania, who visited the KSUCVM for six weeks during the spring semester as part of an OIE-sponsored twinning project between K-State and Sokoine University.