Illinois Vet News




An article in the New York Times last month charging that recent veterinary graduates are “trapped” by high educational debt and low starting salaries sparked much discussion within the veterinary profession. Discussion of these issues is needed, and an open letter from the president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and Tufts veterinary dean Dr. Deborah Kochevar provided some context missing in the article. A Cornell veterinary student also offered a thoughtful perspective in a recent column.

Dr. Kochevar points out that recent U.S. veterinary graduates average around a 98% employment rate within six months after graduation. At Illinois, we are currently collecting employment statistics from our 2011 and 2012 graduates; we have reached 185 of the 237 graduates from those years, and all are employed, all but one in the veterinary field.

The fact remains that the increasing cost of a veterinary education must be tackled, and on many fronts at once. More scholarships will help, as will creative approaches such as income-based repayment, the Veterinary Medicine repayment program from USDA, NIH loan repayment and  public service loan forgiveness programs. Illinois is committed to exploring these and other strategies to ensure that the profession remains a respected and crucial contributor to the overall health of our people, animals, and world, and to ensure that talented individuals whose passion lies in this field will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams—and be appropriately compensated.--Herb

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Nominations and applications for the position of dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine are invited. Visit the Veterinary Medicine Dean search to learn more or to read the position announcement, scoping document and a list of search committee members.

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Meet Dr. Tisha Harper, Orthopedic Surgeon

Growing up in Trinidad, Dr. Tisha Harper spent many hours at her father's veterinary practice, where she developed an interest in surgical cases that would eventually define her clinical specialty.

Dr. Tisha HarperBefore joining the small animal surgery team at Illinois in July. Dr. Harper spent six years as an assistant professor of small animal surgery at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Va. Her current research interests include small animal post-operative rehabilitation and chronic osteoarthritis.

Dr. Harper can be reached for consultations on small animal musculoskeletal diseases by contacting her at 217-333-5300 or Allison Lutz, orthopedics case coordinator, at 217-265-5333 or Read more about Dr. Tisha Harper

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Dr. Fred KummerowIn a recent paper published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease, Dr. Fred Kummerow, emeritus professor of comparative biosciences, contradicts commonly held notions about the role of dietary cholesterol in heart disease. Dr. Kummerow argues that dietary cholesterol can be good for the heart, unless it is unnaturally oxidized (e.g., by frying foods in reused oil, eating lots of polyunsaturated fats or smoking). Read more.


Dr. Adam SternPathobiology professor Dr. Adam Stern was part of a team that confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome in Illinois, the 20th state to have identified this fatal disease impacting cave- and mine-hibernating bats. As it continues to spread quickly, white-nose syndrome has the potential to infect at least half the bat species in North America. Read more.


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"Run Wild" at Homer Lake on April 7 and help support the Wildlife Medical Clinic. Choose either the 10-mile long course or the 6K short course. Register by March 31 to receive the $35 early bird rate.

> Register or learn more about "Run Wild for Wildlife."

Heading to Chicago for the AVMA convention in July?

Be sure to greet your friends from the college and ISVMA at the welcome center outside the exhibit hall in McCormick Place, and visit the college exhibit, where you can try out some of the innovative, hands-on models and mannequins from the Clinical Skills Learning Center in Urbana.

Chicago cruiseAnd don’t miss the alumni and friends reception on Monday, July 22, when we embark on the Escape Deck of the Mystic Blue ship for a two-hour cruise on Lake Michigan.

Register for the cruise at by Friday, July 5. Cost per person is $50 and includes a buffet dinner. Boarding begins at 6 pm on Navy Pier, and the cruise begins at 6:30 pm. Questions? Contact Beth Erwin at 217.333.9543 or

Are Raw Food Diets for Pets Beneficial and Safe?

raw eggsIs this topic coming up more and more in your practice? And what about unpasteurized dairy products for people? The Center for One Health Illinois will be hosting a free community forum on "The Raw Facts: Food Fads, Fears, Fables, and Safety," from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, at the college, 2001 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana. "The Raw Facts," the third forum in the series entitled "One Health and You: News You Can Use," will be repeated on April 17 at Brookfield Zoo in the Chicago suburbs. Find out more at

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Looking for a way to share your knowledge and experience with current veterinary students? The Veterinary Career Partnership Program, the college's mentoring program, is seeking veterinarians in the following specialty areas and regions:

  • Exotics/zoo medicine, shelter medicine, and canine rehab in the Chicago area
  • Emergency medicine in the Pennsylvania area
  • Avian medicine in southern Illinois
  • Equine medicine on the east coast
  • Small animal veterinarians in the southeastern and eastern USA

alumniIf you would like to participate, please register online at

Help us select this year's winners of the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni and Special Service awards. Nominate a colleague by April 15, 2013. Download the nomination forms and guidelines.

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white coat ceremonyKudos to the Class of 2014 who celebrated the transition into a full year of clinical rotations at the March 11 White Coat Ceremony.

Enjoy this Class of 2014 video montage, created by class member Danielle Strahl-Heldret, which was shown at the event.


Veterinary Diagnostic LaboratoryCongratulations to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on receiving a five-year accreditation from the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians following a September 2012 site visit.


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The Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine is seeking a full-time, 100% (12 month basis) open rank (clinical or tenure-track) assistant, associate or full professor in veterinary small animal surgery.

Learn about our residencies and other employment opportunities.

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The College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois :: 2001 South Lincoln Avenue :: Urbana, Illinois 61802