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Behind the undistinguished façade of the Surgery and Obstetrics Laboratory, workers are busily building a distinctive feature of our new curriculum: a Clinical Skills Learning Center (CSLC).

By August, when the Class of 2013 arrives, more than 1,200 square feet of remodeled space will house stations for students to practice setting up anesthesia machines, intubating manikins, performing clinical pathology tests, and positioning animals for radiographs, among other activities.

The CSLC will provide an important vehicle for the integration of basic science and clinical training that lies at the heart of the new Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum, debuting this fall.

Under the new curriculum, students will participate in clinical rotations in all four years of the program, starting on the first day of the first year. The CSLC will also be used by students in all four years. In the first year, for example, while taking the cardiovascular physiology course, students may learn to use an ECG and listen to simulated heart sounds in the CSLC. In years 2 and 3 students will take their comprehensive milestone examinations in the CSLC to assess clinical competency.

By design the CSLC allows students to build competence and confidence through self-directed learning and to practice on non-living models in a safe, low-stress environment. Two veterinary technicians will assist student  learning. Instructional DVDs, Web sites, and teaching modules with case scenarios will be available during hours when the center is not staffed.

I look forward to offering tours of the new space during the annual Fall Conference for Veterinarians, slated for September 10 and 11 this year. Meanwhile, if you want to know how you can play a role in making this new student learning center a reality, please contact me at dean@vetmed.illinois.edu.


Meet Dr. Dennis French

Dr. Dennis FrenchDr. Dennis French, professor of veterinary clinical medicine, is no stranger to Illinois. His wife hails from the western suburbs of Chicago and he worked closely with members of the Illinois Equine Field Service during the early 1980s.

For the past 28, Dr. French has been on faculty at the Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, where he held a joint appointment between the Veterinary School and the Agricultural Center and served as LSU’s institutional veterinarian for the Ag Center’s Reproductive Biology Center. He also had an active ambulatory practice in South Louisiana working primarily with English horses.

His clinical interests include large animal herd health, particularly equine parasite control programs; the development of drugs used for control of internal and external equine parasites; and equine immunologic responses to exercise and aging.

Dr. French is currently collaborating with equine parasitologists across the country on a clinical trial looking at ivermectin resistance in large horse farms. The study is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

A board-certified specialist in equine practice, Dr. French will be providing on-site and ambulatory service to equine and farm animal clients. He looks forward to “serving the agricultural and veterinary community of Illinois” and “providing a consistent voice to referring veterinarians.”

Dr. French is available for equine and large animal consultations and can be reached through the Farm Animal Clinical Coordinator at 217-244-5117 or VTHFoodAnMed@vetmed.illinois.edu

Read more about Dr. French
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What's New?
Send us for your updates for our new alumni Web site. E-mail: advancement@vetmed.illinois.edu

Alumni Reception
American Veterinary Medical Association Alumni Reception, July 13, Seattle, Wash. E-mail advancement@vetmed.illinois.edu for details.

Hit the Greens for Vet Med...
Don't miss the 2009 Vet Med Alumni Golf Outing on September 9. E-mail advancement@vetmed.illinois.edu for details.

Alumni & Development Web site | Alumni site


Prairie grassFrom Mulching to Planting : Building the Vet Med Prairie Garden

Read more about the Vet Med Prairie Project


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Toxicology and Pathology in Drug Discovery and Development Short Course, Champaign, Ill., July 20-22, 2009. Go to vetmed.illinois.edu/ope/itp/ to register.

Contemporary Concepts in Target Organ Toxicologic Pathology: Hepatobiliary and Cardiovascular Systems, Champaign, Ill., July 22-24, 2009. Go to
vetmed.illinois.edu/ope/itp/ to register

Fall Conference for Veterinarians, September 10-11, 2009, Urbana, Ill. Visit vetmed.illinois.edu/ope/fallconf/ for more details.

Fish Medicine Lecture and Laboratory, October 24-25, 2009, Urbana, Ill. Visit vetmed.illinois.edu/ope/fish/ for more details.

Minimally-Invasive Cranial Cruciate Ligament Surgery Lecture and Laboratory, Chicago, Ill. Visit vetmed.illinois.edu/ope/cclsurgery/ for more details.

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