News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News from the
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
August 13, 2010

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Contact: Chris Beuoy

Vet Med Open House Moves to October

New Curriculum Occasions Date Shift

URBANA - For the second time this year, the students at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine will invite the public for a behind-the-scenes look at the state's only veterinary college.

On Sunday, October 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., more than 300 veterinary students will host the annual Open House, an event that was also held in April this year as it had been nearly every year since 1972.

The theme for the October 3 event is "Explore your animal instincts." More than 40 exhibits and demonstrations will illustrate the many aspects of veterinary education and practice, with lots of animals and animal-related activities for young and old. The event is free; registration is not required. Free parking is available in Lot F-27 at 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana. For a list of exhibits and directions, see

Vet Med Open House will take place in the fall from now on to accommodate changes in the college's veterinary curriculum. In fall 2009, the college introduced its innovative "Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum" with the Class of 2013.

"Open House has traditionally been hosted by students in the first three years of the four-year program," says Chris Beuoy, a staff person who assists the student organizers of the Open House.

"In the new curriculum, third-year veterinary students will be engaged in an intensive year of clinical rotations starting in March--about eight weeks earlier in the spring semester than with the previous curriculum--so in April only first- and second-year students will be available to assist with the Open House," explains Beuoy. "We needed to find a new time for Open House so that a large number of students could continue to participate. We decided to shift the event to early fall rather than to the colder months at the beginning of the spring semester."

One of the most innovative aspects of the new curriculum is that it immerses first- and second-year students as well as upperclassmen in clinical rotations. First-year students begin the program with a series of eight one-week rotations, primarily located in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and second-year students spend the second eight weeks of fall semester in rotations.

The new Clinical Skills Learning Center is a key component of the Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum. This new facility supports the curricular changes by providing a low-pressure environment for students to master clinical techniques in surgery, imaging, emergency medicine, and other areas using animal manikins, simulations, and state-of-the-art teaching equipment, including a life-size model horse used to teach equine anatomy and large animal imaging techniques.

The clinical skills facility will be open to the public during Open House. Photos of the facility are online at

Prospective veterinarians are encouraged to attend Open House. Career talks will demystify the path to becoming a veterinarian and offer details about the Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program.

Pet owners will find answers to their pet health questions at Open House. Dr. Kandi Norrell, who provides "primary care"--similar to a family general practitioner--for area dogs and cats through the college's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, will be on hand. Please note: Members of the public are not allowed to bring their pets to this event.

While most people associate veterinary medicine with routine health care for dogs and cats, the profession offers a whole world of career options, all with one focus: improving life for people. Activities of the veterinary medical profession benefit every person in the state, either directly--by providing care to companion animals and livestock--or indirectly through work in medical research, public health, food safety, disease surveillance, environmental health promotion, and many other areas.