Pet Columns, Office of Public Engagement, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Vet Med Open House Is October 7

Pet Column for the week of September 20, 2012

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Related site - Vet Med Open House
Services - Veterinary Profession

[Kids can dress for surgery at the annual Vet Med
There are activities for budding scientists and animal lovers of all ages at the annual Vet Med Open House.

Office of Public Engagement
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, Illinois 61802
Phone: 217/333-2907

On Sunday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., more than 300 veterinary students will invite the public for a behind-the-scenes look at the state's only veterinary college.

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

New to the event this year is “Teddy Bear Repair.” From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. kids can bring their slightly injured stuffed animal toys and veterinary students will patch them up and mend their wear and tear.

Also for the first time this year, all 480 veterinary students enrolled in the college are participating in the new "Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum,” which was introduced for incoming first-year students in fall 2009.

One of the most innovative aspects of this curriculum, which is unlike the approach to veterinary education used elsewhere, 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 half 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.

Many of the Open House exhibits will be located in the clinical skills facility.

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 animals 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.