Every year, the Scholars in the U.S.-China Joint DVM Scholarship Program report their life and learning experiences from their study in the U.S. All of their stories have shown the progress of their personal growths. You can click on a student’s name to read his/her story.
中美联合执业兽医教育奖学金项目的学生每年汇报他们在美国的学习和生活体会。 他们的故事展现了他们成长的过程。 通过点击学生的名字， 你可阅读他们的故事。
Class of 2017
Second Year Life at College of Veterinary Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota明尼苏达大学兽医学院
I am feeling very happy to successfully complete the first year’s study in the veterinary school at University of Minnesota. Even though the scores are not coming out until now, I think I was doing well and the scores will be as good as last semester. After this year’s highly intense and demanding study, I started to have a general idea of how the medicine looks like. As we had critical thinking classes during this semester, reading those scientific papers helps me understanding the relationship between the basic scientific research and more applicable medicine. Also, the first year’s study makes me clear the problem existed in our veterinary education.
First of all, we don't have doctorate degree in veterinary medicine in China. Students can start medicine practice right after 5 year’s undergraduate study. In contrast, students in American are required to take 4 year’s undergraduate study and 4 year’s graduate study. Some of the practices even require student have 3 more year hands-on experience. Many people know general differences between the American and Chinese veterinary education system, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding. Some thinks that it is a waste of time to spend more years for studying almost the same contents. Also, from the names of classes I have learned this year, which are Anatomy/Radiology/Embryology, Biochemistry/Nutrition/Genetics, Physiology, Clinic skills, microscopic anatomy, as well as immunology and pathology, they look the same as what we have learned in China. Even though there are robust communications between Chinese and American veterinarians, they can only see the difference in facilities and instruments. However, It is the knowledge that matters and it takes years to really master that the knowledge. In my points of view, graduate students know the mechanisms of diseases’ pathogenesis at the genetic level and could solve problem by using principles. In contrast, the undergraduate students only have general knowledge in common problems that take place in food animal industry. In fact, the diseases are usually complex and have various manifestations. Without solid knowledge in basic principles, it is easy to make a wrong diagnosis.
The second problem is that we don't have a good system to promote the development of clinical medicine. Currently, Chinese education system focuses mainly on basic research. Few teachers spent time summarizing research results and apply them into practice. Also, applicable medicine also helps to provide ideas for beginning a new research area. For example, through some studies, researchers find that patients with cancer have a higher survival rate if they also have diabetes mellitus. These findings give researcher clues and started to investigate how to intervene metabolism to affect tumor growth. Through more communication with teachers in vet school, I know that many of the teachers only teach classes and don't need to do research. Some teachers are experienced doctors from animal hospital of the university. They would come and lecture some case studies, which greatly help us understand how to apply knowledge to practice.
Lastly, the vet schools have their own farms. As most of the private farm usually doesn’t allow people freely enter the farm in order to control diseases. These farms are not profit oriented and give students a great chance to have hands-on experience corresponding with lecture study throughout the whole school year. In China even we had an on-farm internship at the last school year, many students didn't learn much since there was no teacher out there in the farm to give instruction.
Even though our veterinarian education has a lot of problems, I am very confident that it will improve rapidly in the future when we have highly intensified agriculture industry since the animal science industry is very important basis for the veterinarian education.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University堪萨斯州立大学兽医学院
This semester is a very important period in the four year veterinary study. We learnt critical core veterinary courses such as Veterinary Immunology and Veterinary Epidemiology, and we were more familiar to deal with all the study work. Although very busy all the time, we felt happy and enriched. With the care and guidance under US-China Animal Health Center, China Scholarship Council, Chinese Consulate in Chicago, and College of Veterinary Medicine at KSU, we successfully reach the end of the first year.
I got good performance in the finals, with most of my curriculums being A. The practical knowledge is much emphasized here in vet school of KSU. There are many clinical cases and skills taught during instructions of the theories, which are more integrated and more difficult. For example, we studied both the essential theory and many clinical cases in Veterinary Immunology. Among these cases, more than 20 were directly taken from the teaching hospital and were analyzed in depth. These cases were emphasized during instruction and took up most part of the tests and the final. Other curriculums were also taught in the way of combining the theory with practice. This is the most impressive, and beneficial part to me.
Out of class, I also learned a lot from club activities and externships. I continued to be the secretary of Small Ruminant Club, where I participated several field services like ultrasound detection in sheep farm and necropsy of sheep cadavers in pathology laboratory. Also, I picked up other interesting and practical knowledge such as bovine industrial status quo in US and poultry bandage techniques from seminars and lectures out of class. I did my first externship last winter break at Surgi-Care Center for Horses in Florida. My mentor Dr. Leann Kuebelbeck is one of best equine veterinarians in US, the former president of Florida Association of Equine Practitioners. Under her guidance, I observed the management, construction design, and doctor-patient relationship in this very distinguished and professional equine clinic, all of which are extremely in need to China right now. My externship experience was reported by China National Horse Industry Web, which is the official website of China Horse Industry Association.
I have never forgotten to do anything I could for our motherland. First, I participated into the program of founding the certificated veterinarians system by Chinese Veterinary Medical Association. I was responsible to integrate and translate the information of veterinary regulation, veterinary schools application and education system, veterinary medical board examination in the United States. Second, Bo Liu and I posted the map of China under the support of US-China Center for Animal Health, so the Chinese students at KSU vet school next year and afterward will be able to show their home to American friends, while native students have their own map showing where they are from. Last but not least, with the help of Qiuwen Kou, I am also starting to establish our own student organization serving for Chinese students in this program. The mission is to provide a platform for our members to learn from each other, help whoever in need, and build up a communicating bridge between vet and pre-vet students from US and China. We indeed will help new Chinese students acclimate to veterinary education system in the US, and will introduce to our American friends about Chinese veterinary profession and Chinese culture.
在课余学习生活中， 本学期我继续担任小型反刍动物俱乐部的秘书，这使我获得了到农场进行实地观摩操作羊超声波测孕、在病理实验室进行羊尸体剖检等等宝贵的机会。在积极参与学院举办的各种课外讲座的过程中，我又学到了美国牛兽医行业现状、鸟类外伤包扎等等既有趣又实用的知识和技能。去年寒假在佛罗里达州著名马病诊所Surgi-Care Center for Horse的两周实习，让我可以直接接触并接受美国最一流的马病兽医、前佛罗里达州马业协会主席Dr. Leann Kuebelbeck的指导，并且对我国比较欠缺的马病诊所的管理运营、建筑设计、医患关系等等多方面进行近距离的了解和学习。该实习经历被中国马业协会报道于其官方网站中国国家马业网。
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University堪萨斯州立大学兽医学院
The spring semester of 2014 was my time to get used to the intensity of study and how to manage my time and energy properly. Besides of attending lectures and preparing for tests, I worked for the Veterinary Business and Management Association, and helped the Chinese Veterinary Medicine Association with information about American veterinary colleges’ accreditation.
The schedule of this semester is similar to that of last semester with more lectures and less labs. We studies equine, ruminant, swine and avian anatomy from Gross anatomy 2. This is the most interesting class with all the labs and related clinical cases. Physiology 2 is divided into different systems, such as cardiology, pulmonary, renal, and so on. There are many immune disorders illustrated in immunology, which is very helpful for diagnosis and treatment. Epidemiology is more focused on how to practice medicine in a scientific way and consistently be well-informed with the current best clinical research. The only elective I took is neuroscience, which is also very clinical oriented. I have done pretty well in this semester, all the grades are As.
I attended the national annual conference of the American Veterinary Business and Management Association in last winter break. There were many presentations that are very useful to veterinary practitioners, including clinics website construction, salary negotiation techniques, credit building skills and more. With much more women vets nowadays in the profession, a vital issue discussed in one of the presentation is the timing of pregnancy. Although there was not any conclusion, residency is the choice of most women. A successful veterinarian should acquire not only veterinary skills, but also business and management abilities. So the club is very attracting to me and a lot of other students with all the issues we discussed about how to manage a veterinary career.
It is always a pleasure for me to help the communication between China and the U.S. During the spring break, Jason and I helped the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) collect and organize information about veterinary industry. The part that I was in charge of is the accreditation of American veterinary colleges, which was quite complicated and hard to explain in Chinese, because we do not have any similar requirements for veterinary colleges. But it deserves hard working, for any improvement of the education system of China veterinary medicine.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University堪萨斯州立大学兽医学院
This is my second semester in vet school, and my second year in the USA. Compared to the first semester, it was easier and I feel more adapted. International veterinary students, especially those who grew up in a totally different language and cultural environments such as China, need to confront the language barrier while at the same time overcoming their cultural differences. Obviously, vet school can be frustrating and depressing, but it also supplies us with a chance to challenge ourselves academically. Through collaboration between the native and international classmates, we international students are exposed to America’s environment, culture, language and habits. At the same time, we have the chance to show them our Chinese culture.
We had gross anatomy, physiology, epidemiology and immunology this semester. My favorite class is gross anatomy. We dissected a pony, a calf, a piglet and a chicken this semester. This was different from last semester because last semester, we needed to focus on every muscle, vessel and nerve. But this semester, we paid more attention to differences between different species. Because this is the second time we had gross anatomy, we all have better skills and better knowledge base compared to first semester. For me, it is much easier to have a professional communication with classmates. Veterinarians always collaborate, especially in surgery, when it is most important. The better we work together as a group, the easier it is for us to accomplish our task. Unlike gross anatomy that is more detailed, physiology is broader. It is also the second time for us to study this subject. In physiology, professors from different fields give lectures about concepts in their own areas of expertise. It gave us the chance to broaden our horizons and gave us more ideas about future career searching.
Collaborating with my classmates inspired me through our experience and enjoyment. The second semester was a relatively relaxing semester for us. In my group, we had more time to share thoughts and help each other, which got us to understand each other better. For us, who have the chance to go abroad to study, it is always important to know the world and let the world get to know us better. The future world is a global world, in fact, it already is. A lot of work needs to be accomplished by cooperation among every country. Just like during surgery, we need to help each other the whole time. Only based on better understanding with each other, it becomes possible for us to achieve our goal.
Class of 2018
First Year Life at College of Veterinary Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota明尼苏达大学兽医学院
I am still fulfilling prerequisite during Spring 2014, namely, geography, chemistry 2, organic chemistry lab and horse science. I am kind of satisfied with my performance (3A's and a B grade). What impressed me most is the horse science. Before I came to United States, I do not know too much about the horses even though I have taken Horse Diseases in China. For me, horses are just horse-shaped organisms. I do not even have a chance riding a real horse in my hometown. But I have learned about breeds, what coat color controlled by which genes, horse evaluation according to conformation from this horse science class. It is absolutely a challenge for me to take this course although the class content is like common sense for my classmates, who have lots of experience with horses since they were children. Although it takes me more time and energy to learn it, it pays off! Due to the situation where Chinese horse industry is lagging behind the world, I would like to popularize the horse knowledge to the public. As history summarizes, never can an industry success without popular support!
Most of my spare time, I stay in Dr. Weiss's lab, a lab focusing on stem cells. Everything there is novel for me. I have learnt how to do karyotype and observed others inducing stem cells using human umbilical cord or rat umbilical cord as raw materials. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Mark Weiss for offering this opportunity to explore science!
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University堪萨斯州立大学兽医学院
Thinking wildly about how a new world would be, I arrived in the US on Aug. 15th, 2013 and started a brand new journey.
I was welcomed at the airport by students of Chinese Students and Scholars Union (CSSU). They picked us up at the local airport and helped us to check our luggage, which made me feel like coming back home. Besides CSSU, there are plenty of student organizations around K-State campus. Each club has affluent activities. I performed several times when I was in my home college in China. However, performing Chinese show in the U.S. is totally a different experience. People are curious about even a small pattern on a common chipao or exciting about a piece of ballad with sweet voice. Only at that time did I realize that the more national, the more global. I’m so proud to be a messenger between China and the U.S. spreading Chinese culture to the world. I have successfully finished one year Pre-Vet program. I got 9 A and 1 B. This grade is excellent among all the undergraduate students in the U.S., but just good for a pre-veterinary student. Since vet school is so competitive here in the U.S., even a straight A student may still not get into his/her dream school. I, fortunately, received all 3 offers from vet schools I have applied, including College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at Iowa State University, University of Missouri and Kansas State University. Actually, the whole application procedure helps me to understand more about different vet schools and it also provides a two-way selection for both candidates and the admission committee.
Pre-veterinary medicine is an undergraduate program in the US. Compared with undergraduate study in China, there are more patterns of lectures, such as discussion class with less than 20 students and lectures on the farm with hands-on practice. There are also various types of exam, for example, class presentation, mimic oral test, etc. Accompanied by K-State Online system and Webmail system, communication between instructors and students are more frequently and efficiently. I finally decide to stay at K-State for my DVM program. CVM at Kansas State University is one of the oldest CVMs in the U.S. Besides the highest standards of professional education program, there are also state of the art research and diagnostic facilities for veterinary medicine. Manhattan, KS, is also the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). I’m eager to grasp the advanced principles and technologies of veterinary medicine during my DVM program in the U.S., and practice them when I go back to China.
I appreciate all the support provided by China Scholarship Council and Kansas State University for our Prevet-DVM program. This one year acclimation helps me to be in good shape for the coming doctoral program.
Class of 2019
The Pre-vet Life at KSU
The end of the semester symbolizes the end of my prevet year in KSU. With the great help from CSC and KSU, I completed my prevet study and am ready to continue my DVM study in KSU. My experience this semester is as follows
- Swine Science
Swine industry is fairly important in China as we produce the most and consume the most. Before the semester began, I read some related books about swine science to familiarize myself with the new words about the industry, considering that I have limited background about it. It turned out to be quite effective. The instructor for the class is also my advisor, Dr. Goodband, who stroke me with his humorous teaching style. Also, one day, he gave a vivid presentation about how the pig flow works by using about 30 piggy toys, arranging them on the ground, moving them among virtual breeding/gestation barn, farrowing barn, nursery, and finishing barn. This serves as a good example for me to become a teacher back in China.
- Intro. to Entrepreneurship
Initially, I expected to learn some basics in business, so I may apply them for the management of a pet clinic. But what I truly learned from this course is an entrepreneurial mindset. Seize an opportunity and pursue it. Though the exams didn’t go very well, I benefit a lot from the course. I learnt how to evaluate my risks, how to develop my team, how to understand my failure and success. Besides, the guest lecture speakers gave us several great speeches by sharing their life experience with us.
- Dairy / Poultry Lab
The first part the course is Dairy lab, which covers broadly about different aspects of the industry including the development of the dairy, how to evaluate milk, genetics selection, feed management, reproduction management and dairy product processing.
The Poultry lab is similar to the Dairy lab, but given by a different professor, who added great fun to the class. After I learned how to judge the quality of the eggs, how to differentiate unfertilized eggs from the fertilized ones, the structure of the eggs, the nutrients in the eggs and their application in other fields and the combined producing system of cattle and poultry, I felt deeply that how the industry is closely related to our lives.
- Companion Animals / Equine Lab
The first part of the course is about companion animals. To my surprise, there is still so much to learn in this class, like breeds and groups of canine and feline, nutrition of companion animals, service and therapy animals, diseases and ailments of pets, training, pet problems and trends in the future.
For a person with zero experience with the horses, the equine lab taught me a lot about the identification of the horses, the breeds and uses, feed management, diseases and handling of the horses.
l Profession Related Extracurricular Activities
I continued my volunteering to take care of exotic animals this semester, hoping I can do more after I enter the vet school.
- Volunteering in the Histopathology Lab
I observed the systemic necropsy of pigs, dogs, a horse and cattle by the fourth-year vet students and the whole process of making the sections in the lab, which is quite automatic.
I took care of a seven-month-old cattle with my partner for nearly one month in order to show the cattle later. During the process, I learned about the cattle’s behavior and communicated a lot with my partner. During the showing day, our stubborn cattle turned around a lot, tried to rush a lot, but the cleanness was recognized by the judge. Even someone in the dairy club admired our effort for “handling” such a tough cattle for such a long time.
l Other Activities
- International Student Welcome Ambassador
After an interview last semester, I was so excited about my first American job. In the two weeks before the semester began, we four ISWA worked together to welcome the incoming international students, guide them to the orientation and various activities prepared for them. In this valuable working experience, I improved my English speaking, organizing, team work coordinating and met friends from all over the world.
- The 6th Year of K-State Launch Competition
The launch is a business plan competition required by my entrepreneurship class. Totally out of my expectation, my business plan for the bowl I designed for the toddlers was chosen as one of the finalists. So I got the opportunity to give my presentation in the alumni center for something totally out of my profession, which was pretty interesting for me.
I signed up for the Japanese Basic Language Training class where I used my second my language—English to learn a third language—Japanese. Through the course, I also learned some Japanese cultures and made some love-learning-Japanese friends.
One-year-long preVet well adapted me to the study and life here, preparing me for the DVM courses coming soon.
1. Herp 本学期依然在奇异动物饲养室做志愿者，希望在进入兽医学院后对这方面有更深入地了解。
3. LAR 在与我拍档共同照顾、训练一头7个月大奶牛的1个多月里，我学到了很多奶牛行为学，与美国搭档也有很多交流。之后在展示牛时，虽然我们的牛完全不配合，试图转圈，猛然快跑等，但我们给牛洗澡的干净程度受到了裁判的好评。即使是奶牛俱乐部的资深成员也为我们能够“驾驭”如此倔强的奶牛而感到骄傲。
2. Launch 仿真体会了把美国节目秀“Shark Tank”的场景。Launch是创业论课程制定参加的一项创业项目的竞赛。完全出乎我意料之外，作为为数不多进入决赛的佼佼者之一，经过一番演讲展示的培训后，与其他参赛者在校友中心展示自己设计的产品，对市场潜力，经济效益等进行解说，这对我这个毫无商业头脑的大外行是个颇新鲜的体验。
3. BLT 本学期我参与了日本语入门课程。由国际学生授课，体会了用第二语言学习第三语言的乐趣，了解了日本文化，并且认识了一些同样爱好学习日语的朋友。
It has been one year since I first came to America. I get used to the lifestyle and begin to enjoy living in Manhattan. Most of the time during this year, I was busy working on my courses and vet school application, and finally got the admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine in KSU this spring semester. The courses that I have in the animal science department inspired me a lot, so do the internship experiences during the summer vacation. I would like to talk about some of my thought as my summary of this year.
First is some of my experience when learning the animal production courses. I took dairy cattle management and swine science last year. Both of the instructors take teaching appointments and extension duties in the school. Thus, they have plenty of experience working with the livestock producers and industry. And they will apply their knowledge on production in the courses which makes them very practical. For example, the instructor of the swine science, Dr. Goodband, designs the course in a way that teaching you build your own swine farm from the ground. He divides the course in several parts and each part covered some aspect of the farm, like ventilation, feeding program, etc. After learning each part, we need to write a design report on that part of the farm. And finally several reports combine to a blueprint of an idea farm. I benefits a lot from this way of teaching. It helps me learned how to apply my knowledge to my future work. When I come back to China several years later, I would like to try some of these ways to help our future students to learn better about how to use their knowledge of veterinary medicine in the real life production.
Second are some of my thoughts about the veterinary for swine industry after having my first internship in a veterinary service company for the swine farms. During my undergraduate study, I once had an internship in a sow farm in China, which gives me a brief impression of our swine industry. Although our industry has developed rapidly these several years, there is still a gap between the production efficiency of the two countries. Actually, the equipment and breeds are similar in a lot of ways, because our industry imports many American facilities and breeding pigs these years. I think that there are mainly two reasons that cause this difference in efficiency. First is the disease control. Compared to China, US has a more favorable environment for swine production, for lots of severe diseases have been cleared in the swine farm in US, like swine fever and foot mouth disease. That makes the veterinarians’ work a lot easier. And they can also have a better control of the pigs’ health statuses, as well as help the farm manager to achieve better production score. Second reason is that the swine farms in US have strict SOPs and the farm staff will follow them. Whereas most of the farm managers in China do not pay much attention on the SOP, instead, operating the farm on their experiences, which causes lots of difference in production. However, uniform operation is a very important factor that keeps modern intense livestock production running smoothly. The inconstant management will surely cause some problems. To improve our industry, I think there are two ways. First is drafting the disease clearance plan in our industry. The government veterinarians and important companies should take the leading position in this work. Second is paying more attention on the SOP and keeping more consistency in the production in each individual farm.
The other internship I had this summer was in the USDA APHIS office at Topeka. This office only has 12 staff, 4 of them are veterinarians. However, they are in charge of 7 states’ veterinary related work on export and import of animal products. I think that the most important reason that they can run their work on such a small personnel is the sound legal system. I think it is also where we should learn from in our industry.
To pursue the dream career to be a veterinarian, sometimes you have to step out of comfort zone and experience something which is indescribable, such as taking an extremely difficult organic chemistry exam on Chinese New Year’s Eve while your family members are celebrating it on the other side of earth, yet it is still worthwhile when three admission letters of vet schools arrived, amongst which I chose Iowa State University for its long history of vet school and my interest in swine.
As for the second semester of pre-vet studies, three courses have been taken according to the prerequisites requirement: Organic Chemistry II, American History Since 1877 and Swine Science. Though Organic Chemistry is quite difficult, American History and Swine Science are really interesting, especially Swine Science, Dr. Goodband taught us not only science of swine but also philosophy of life.
In addition to curricular activities, the most exciting section is the summer internship. First, I spent a month in Dr. Bai’s Veterinary Diagnostic lab to learn basic skills of PCR as a technique for the diagnoses of certain microorganisms. It is the operation system of the lab that I admire the most, in which it splits into two programs of development lab and service lab respectively, development lab creates, tests and validates new diagnostic panels while the service lab runs multiple samples simultaneously according to the existent tests validated by development lab to guarantee efficiency.
Then, thanks to the arrangement of Dr. Wang our program manager, Coco and I went to the Veterinary Service of USDA APHIS in Topeka for an internship of one week. We were able to attend teleconference and lectures of foreign animal diseases, as well as an inspection of a technical blood factory and daily paperwork of health certificates, of which the National Veterinary Accreditation program impressed me the most, it is a network of USDA certified veterinarian working with the government to maintain animal health while USDA provides them with the free supplies and tests.
After this, I started a three-week long volunteer work in Wildlife Care Clinic of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of ISU. This is the first time I have seen owls and hawks within such a close distance, and even had the chance to let them stand on my hand, which is a thrilling experience for me. WCC is a non-profit organization so its connection to local residents is tight, many things are donated including food and towels.
There were a vast amount of things I have learned during this summer, if given the chance to select the most important and impressive one among them, I would say network. The ability of one person is limited no matter how brilliant she or he is, but a united network of a certain group of people who aim at the same goal and move forward to one direction could make such a difference that nothing is impossible.
I cannot believe that it has been a year since the first time I landed on the US ground. Time passes so quickly and I have gone through a lot things. Now I am going to talk about some of them.
For study and courses, thanks to Dr. Goodband for helping me choose courses patiently. I really enjoyed every course I took during the pre-vet year and I’ve learned a lot. In Public Speaking class, five times of giving speeches in front of classmates and different kinds of assignments really helped me understand and apply the knowledge. The Professor of Food Science invited related specialists of food industry to give lectures every two or three weeks, such as food security expert, functional food specialist and so on. Through this way, it not only attracts students’ attention, but also provides more accurate information of a specific food industry for students. The Professor of Fundamental of Nutrition provided us with i-clicker in class, which is very new to me. Not only can it records the student attendance, but also helps students be highly concentrated during classes. Swine Science is a very interesting class. There was a lab section in real swine farm each week to help us understand the knowledge. The professor trained us to think critically and weigh pros and cons in each assignment by designing our own swine farm. To be honest, I didn’t really realize how fast China’s economy has developed during last 30 years until taking the Food Contemporary Issues in Global Food and Agricultural Systems.
By taking these courses, although most of them are for freshmen or sophomore American students, I’ve learned how professors instruct students to choose majors and encourage students to be prepared for their careers, which I think is a deficiency of the undergraduate education I received in China. The Companion and Horse Lab is a 1ow level class, most of the students haven’t decided their majors. The professor spent a relatively long time analyzing industries and careers related to animals. He also gave an assignment of evaluating ourselves and conducting some research of the interested career in order to look beyond the image of a job. Overall, I appreciate every professor’s hard work and willingness to teach and to inspire.
For extra curriculum experience, I volunteered at the Manhattan Animal Shelter for twice. The great management of the animal shelter really impressed me. I shadowed at the Veterinary Health Center (VHC) for two weeks, specifically at Pet Health and Equine department. It gave me a better view of how a teaching hospital dedicates to train future veterinarians. I did a part time job during the spring semester at the central preparation department of VHC. It allowed me to have a closer look of how this department runs to support the whole hospital from all kinds of surgery instruments and tools sterilization, to disposable materials supply and to white coats and scrubs preparation. My coworker taught me everything that I need to know patiently. My supervisor emphasized multi-tasking ability and set herself an example for us. Thought a little bit tired after a day’s of work, it was a good experience.
During this summer, I volunteered at Dr. Mike Murtaugh’s research lab for six weeks at UMN. This lab focuses on seeking a comprehensive understanding of porcine immune responses to infectious pathogens. I mainly worked with Dr. Mike Rahe, a third year student of PHD program at Murtaugh’s lab. I’ve learned how to do cell culture and manage culture plates from him, including counting live cells, changing media, freezing cells and cloning cells. What impressed me most is Dr. Mike Rahe’s passion and diligent attitude toward to what he is doing. Besides doing lab work, I participated lab meetings and lab presentations. I also gave a presentation about Seahorse technology. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and to meet excellent people at this lab.
For my daily life, I would say it was not easy. Thanks to the time of pre-vet year, which allowed me to be familiar with stuffs associate with daily-life here. For social life, I took part in activities held by my residence assistant and conversation café. And I’ve made very good friends with several American and Chinese students at KSU, which is one of the reasons that I love K-state.
Being in America has helped me look at my old life in China through different eyes. It is a good experience to challenge and improve myself. I highly appreciate everyone who has helped me all the way. And I am looking forward and ready my next stop.
这个暑假，我在Dr. Mike Murtaugh的实验室学习了六周。这个实验室致力于更全面的了解猪对传染性病原的免疫反应。我主要和Dr. Mike Rahe共事，他是一名博士三年级学生。我学习了怎样培养细胞和管理细胞板，比如计数细胞，更换细胞液，冷冻细胞和克隆细胞。除了这些, 我从他的言行上体会到了他对他所做的充满了强烈热情和不知疲倦的勤奋，让我印象深刻。除了做实验，我也参加每周的组会和演讲，我做了一个关于海马技术的演讲。 我非常感谢能有这次在实验室学习和遇到优秀人才的机会。
Taking the undergraduate courses in Kansas State University works as the buffer which helps me fulfill the veterinary school prerequisites and get used to the American education system. And extra curriculum activities allow me to gain experience directly related to my major. What I’ve learned and experienced let me have a better understanding of advantage of American education and available sources and how to take advantage of them to make a contribution to China.
Through the pre-veterinary courses, I have tried to improve my English, build the background knowledge and achieve the academic success with the help of the professors, my classmates and the useful recourse in KSU. The courses are changing but they give me an in-depth insight into the American husbandry. Especially, the lecturer of the Dairy Cattle Management course, Dr. Brouk, an extension specialist, impresses me most for solving the practical problems in dairy industry and doing researches on finding the strategies for more productive management. The course also provides us with the opportunity to visit several dairy farms and feedlots in western Kansas. I am inspired by the course for dairy management is a promising field in China. But the management of animals relies heavily on general experience instead of scientific researches in China. As the DVM students, we are encouraged to make the connection between the theory and changeable practice problems. That also works for researches, once we realize the importance and unknown of the clinical and practical problems, researches helped us dig deeper into the root cause of problems and apply theory to practice.
As for our daily life, studying abroad can be difficult for adapting the lifestyle and involving in the American culture. I learned to be self-motivated and flexible by joining the extracurricular activities and various clubs. Involving in the pre-vet club offers us the chance to volunteer at the animal shelter to take care of the abandoned animals. Together with the members of the dairy club, we did the part-time job and attended the American Dairy Science Association Conference in Wisconsin to learn the management of the production. Apart from that, I earned the chance to give a speech about our Chinese to the students in the Marlatt School by joining the International Speaker Bureau. I also enjoyed my time with my friends who encouraged and helped me when I was in need.
My summer internship and shadow experience also enrich my theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine. Firstly, shadowing in the Equine Center and Veterinary Health Center provides me with the great opportunity to learn the cases, clinical techniques and observe the surgeries. Also, during the shadow experience, I could listen to the lecture with the DVM fourth year students and have a preview of the DVM rotation. Then, interning in the USDA helps me understand the regulations of import and export, national veterinary accreditation program and have a tour to the production line of the Hill’s Pet Nutrition. After that, I also worked in Dr. Wenjun Ma’s lab as student worker to assist the screening of swine influenza B virus and the research of monoclonal antibodies.
Studying the veterinary medicine with scholarships in U.S. is a privilege for us. So we try to find ways to empower the people in China with our knowledge and information. First of all, with the foundation of what we have learned through courses and what we have experienced outside classes, together with other DVM students, we establish the Wechat media platform, “4vetstudents” to share our ideas about the veterinary education and practices to the students, faculties and veterinarians in China. With this mission, Zhen and I had an interview with Dr. Arck, the board of the Veterinary Health Center in KSU about the management of the teaching hospital. Then, with the permission of Dr. Arck, we wrote the article based on the interview and published it on our platform. Up to now, we received 779 page views for the article and we are also greatly empowered by the positive feedback from the readers. Besides that, I attempted to interact with the Chinese scholars directly while I was in China. Thereby, I attended the conference of Chinese Association of veterinary internal medicine and clinical veterinary medicine. During the meeting, I learned the updated research results of veterinary medicine and the management of husbandry in China. And I introduced our program to the professors from different universities.
Finally, I will start my adventure in the College of Veterinary Medicine in the University of Minnesota. With my faith, hard work and mission, I’m looking forward to learning the new skills and continuing to be passionate about the path that I chose. With the help of China Scholarship Council(CSC) and Kansas State University(KSU), the International Veterinary Collaboration for China (IVCC)/Zoetis, the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and other partners of the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program, I am able to start my advanced education of veterinary medicine in U.S. and I’m also given the opportunity to find the difference and opportunity of the field of study which in turn can help me make a contribution to China.
First and foremost, I am grateful to Kansas State University (KSU), the China Scholarship Council (CSC), the International Veterinary Collaboration for China (IVCC)/Zoetis and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) for the opportunity that I could be one of students who could be admitted in the US.-China Pre-vet & DVM program. I really cherish the opportunity to have my pre-vet study in KSU. In this assay, I would like to write something about my learning experiences and thoughts when I was pre-vet student in KSU.
To fulfill the prerequisites of applying vet schools was my first goal of my school in Kansas. For my first semester, I enrolled four courses, PhysicsⅡ, Public Speaking, Fundamental of Nutrition and Dairy Cattle Management. As for my second semester, I had Organic ChemistryⅡ, Equine Science and American History Since 1877. I got A for all my courses and earned a semester academic honor from College of Agriculture. One of my favorite class was Dairy Cattle Management. It was a challenging course but rewarding. I found there were some opportunities to learn Dairy cows management in depth. I took Dairy Challenging trained by Dr.Mike Brouk and joined in Dairy Science Club of Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, which offered me a chance to go to the 2015 dairy conference hosted by The Student Affiliate Division of ADSA in Wisconsin. During my winter break, I have been working in the KSU dairy farm to help a Ph.D student by feeding cows. It was good for me to know about how university operated their animal farms and how university hired student workers to help their animal researches.
Life in K-State was simple and busy. We were encouraged to do extracurricular activities to enrich our experience in U.S. As a member of pre-vet club and dairy club, I attended our weekly meetings and outdoors activities. In my first semester, I got my first chance to volunteer for T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter to play with dogs and cats. Besides, I was lucky to have been to western Kansas twice to visit large dairies and beef cattle feed yards, which broadened my views of cattle management. In my second semester, I was able to learn epidemiology and GIS from Dr.Raghavan, which enabled me to better understand the H5N2 Avian Influenza outbreaks this year. Kansas State University's Veterinary Health Center (VHC) was also a good place for us to shadow with veterinarians. With the help of staff and faculties from U.S.-China Center for Animal Health (USCCAH) and VHC, I could shadow in Food Animal and Equine sections for a few days, learning from veterinarians and vet students.
When I was in this program, I tried to broaden my vision and mission. I raised several questions at the beginning of my pre-vet study in K-State. For example, what are differences between students from U.S and China before they go to vet schools? How American vet schools select their students? Why American vet schools could keep so high standard to train their students? Could we apply their ways of admission to our education? I believe that to answer these questions will definitely help us to search better solutions to improve our education in veterinary medicine.
Let me use my story to explain the difference between students from U.S and China before they go to vet schools. Except my curiosity of animal science, I had no other animal experiences before I went to vet school in China as a high school student. I didn’t keep a pet and my family didn’t own any animal farms either. It would be hard to imagine in United States that such students like me would take the veterinarian as their lifelong profession. In U.S, most of students have plenty experiences of animal, veterinary medicine and research before they apply vet schools. They grow up with pets and some of their families have animal farms. Besides, most of them have got a bachelor degree of animal science or biology science. If not, at least, they have fulfilled the prerequisite courses required by vet schools before they get in. In a word, American students have the motivation and the dedication and the preparation of knowledge to be vet students in advance.
During my pre-vet study, I had applied four vet schools that were KSU, ISU, UMN and UC.Davis and finally I got four offers from those schools. From my perspective, to apply vet schools in the U.S is complicated and difficult. The reason that it is complicated is due to the application process. First, I need to fill out all my information in VMCAS( Veterinary Medical College Application Service), including my personal information, academic performances, personal statement and so on. I need at least three references from veterinarians and veterinary professors. Besides, most of schools require supplemental materials like essays and questionnaires. The admission committee of vet schools we apply will review our applications from VMCAS and supplemental materials to decide whether to give us interview or not. Our academic performance like GPA, GRE scores, and animal, veterinary and research experiences will be considered as weighted factors to rank us. After the interview, only 10%~15% of applicants of each veterinary school could be admitted in the end. The low admission rate of vet schools makes their DVM programs competitive and difficult to get in.
One thing I learned from my applications is using a series of assessments and interviews to select best students with high potential to be veterinary can qualify the DVM education. The process of admission is time-consuming, costing but worthwhile. My first reason is that selected students are most likely to succeed in DVM programs, for they are smart and hardworking which are necessary to be a DVM student. Therefore, those students are more capable to take the challenges of DVM program. Plus, vet schools clearly understand that being a good DVM student does not make sure becoming a good doctor in the future. Therefore, the admission process must test multiple aspects of candidates, not only academic potential but also ethnics, communication skill and critical thinking, which are essential characteristics and skills required by the profession.
The admission process in U.S may not be suitable to China, but we still can learn from it. Unlike U.S, our colleges of veterinary medicine select our students by Gaokao, the College Entrance Examination in China. Nowadays, more high school graduates are willing to take veterinarian as their profession than before. Thus, veterinary programs are becoming popular and competitive. However, it is hard for our schools to evaluate ethnics, motivation and communication skills of applicants without interview. In the future, if possible, we could probably add the interview to admission of our Chinese vet school.
I hope my thinking, albeit incomplete, could lead to a further discussion of improving veterinary education in China among students and teachers who are interested in.
For my summer time, I took a two-day shadowing at USDA, Topeka, KS and another two-day shadowing at Equine Section of VHC in KSU, both of which increased my knowledge and experiences of veterinary medicine. In order to meet the future challenges of veterinary management and marketing, I have taken four online business courses from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania that are Introduction to Marketing, Operation Management, Financing Account and Corporate Finance. As it was said from Applied Business Certificate of CVM, UMN, we could use these business tools to bring our expertise to market and to help you make business decisions in an effective, innovative, and ethical way.
Meng Li and I founded a public Wechat account called Vetstudents in this summer, which was a platform to achieve the goal of sharing our experiences and thoughts with students, faculties, veterinarians and industry workforce in China. We collaborate with other Chinese DVM students and veterinarians who also have passion for Chinese veterinary education. Our members are veterinary students and veterinarians distributed from China, United States and Britain. We hope that veterinary students in China could be motivated by our essays. We also hope to communicate with Chinese veterinary educators and industry leaders through our writing.
Finally, I would thank Kansas State University (KSU), the China Scholarship Council (CSC), the International Veterinary Collaboration for China (IVCC)/Zoetis, the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and other stakeholders of the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program for their help and support. Without them, I couldn’t succeed in the next four years. I am ready for starting my journey in vet school!