Governor Sonny Perdue to speak to students at UGA’s Vet School for a Day program

Athens, Ga. – Governor Sonny Perdue will speak to high school and veterinary students as part of a pilot program that brings high school students to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine to learn more about careers in the field. An alumnus of the veterinary college, Perdue will speak at the veterinary medicine building on Monday, April 25, at 1:30 p.m.

The program will include a hospital tour, a panel discussion by faculty veterinarians in a variety of specialties and the opportunity for the high school students to meet veterinary student leaders.

“We hope that this program will succeed in attracting younger students into veterinary medicine,” said Sheila W. Allen, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We plan to make this an annual event and to grow the program to include 30 or more students from all over the state of Georgia. The faculty and students feel that it is important to reach out to teenagers before they begin college to get them interested in this varied and rapidly growing field.”

The faculty panel will include pathologist Corrie Brown, a specialist in bioterrorism and international veterinary medicine; Jim Moore, an expert in equine treatment and research; and John Fisher, director, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study.

“There is an ever-increasing demand for veterinarians in all areas in which we serve society: protecting animal agriculture and the world’s food supply, maintaining the health of companion animals and fostering the human-animal bond, combating threats of bioterrorism, preserving wildlife resources, promoting a clean and healthy environment, and ensuring public health through the study, prevention and control of infectious diseases,” said Allen.

Other panelists include Paul Frank, radiology; John Glisson, head, avian medicine; Chris King, assistant vice president and director of animal care and use; Michelle Barton, large animal medicine; Karen Cornell, small animal medicine; and Doris Miller, director, Athens Diagnostic Laboratory. Students also will learn about the high standards for admission to the college and what they need to study to be prepared for veterinary school.

“Getting students interested in veterinary medicine at an early age is important because the career requires an incredible emotional and academic commitment,” said Jonathan Dear, president of the student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “The profession certainly does not exclude those that choose it later in life, but dedication early on facilitates the personal and professional growth that is required to excel in the profession.”

The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, providing services to animal owners and veterinarians and doing research to improve the health of animals as well as people. The college enrolls 96 students each fall out of more than 550 who apply. It has more than 130 faculty members.

Through its hospital and diagnostic laboratories, the college benefits pets and their owners, food producing animals and wildlife. The laboratories safeguard public health through disease surveillance. Research done at the college improves the health and quality of life for companion animals and improves the productivity and health of poultry and livestock.