The Tifton veterinary diagnostic laboratory recently hosted undergraduate students from Fort Valley State University and local Tift county high school students for a day-long workshop on veterinary career options. Faculty and staff at the Tifton lab presented on the wide range of career paths within veterinary medicine – from jobs in veterinary diagnostics to research to working as a practicing veterinarian. Participating students got to experience the rigorous daily operations of a full species animal disease diagnostic laboratory (TVDIL) where high quality diagnostic and surveillance testing services are offered on clinical samples from food animal, companion animal and wild life/exotic species.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to come to Tifton for the day,” said Rose-Ann Gillespie, lead veterinary technician for the Fort Valley State University Veterinary Technology program. “Dr. Naikare and his staff did a fantastic job of showing the students the breadth of career options in veterinary medicine. It is so important for them to see all the things they could do – in the real-world setting.”
This is the second year Dr. Hemant Naikare, the director of the Tifton diagnostic lab, and his staff have hosted the popular workshop, with additional dates in the planning stages. Said Gillespie, “This trip filled up in two hours – with a waiting list. Our students are hungry to learn about career options they didn’t even know existed. They’re already looking forward to the next workshop!”
This pilot project of hosting a series of full day workshop will establish a collaborative network with the community colleges, schools and universities in Southwest Georgia, and it will lead to the development of an excellent “exploratory academy” model that could be applied to other rural districts in Georgia. This will strengthen the institutional diversity and recruitment of prospective students in the field of veterinary medicine and animal health.