Campus News

Veterinary Medicine college open house draws a crowd

College of Veterinary Medicine Open House 2010
Student Kimberley O’Connor (right) stitches up a stuffed toy dog during teddy bear surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual open house. Pictured with O’Connor are (from left) visitors Claire Shelnutt

Veterinary Medicine college open house draws a crowd

More than 3,000 wide-eyed children of all ages flooded the grounds of College of Veterinary Medicine on April 2 for the college’s annual open house, a tradition dating back more than 30 years.

Hosted by the college’s first-year veterinary students, the event highlights the broad spectrum of careers one may pursue with an advanced degree in veterinary medicine.

It’s a day that offers something for everyone: from face-painting and live exotic animals, to balloons “tied” into animal shapes, tours of the college’s Teaching Hospital and a parade of dog breeds.

“It’s fun,” said Hugo Mendez, a doctoral candidate at UGA. “It’s something I look forward to every year.”

For middle and high school students contemplating a degree in veterinary medicine, there were opportunities to talk to college officials about the kinds of grades and degrees recruiters look for when selecting veterinary students. There also were opportunities to talk to veterinary students about their experiences, education and interests prior to entering veterinary school and explore what their lives are like as veterinary students.

This year’s new attraction was a horse exhibition, in which two members of the equestrian team demonstrated different horse maneuvers to onlookers.

Hundreds of young children and their parents endured lengthy lines for the chance to get into the college’s anatomy lab to don a surgical gown, mask and latex gloves so they could assist a veterinary student in the mending of an injured teddy bear. The lab was filled with little surgeons who would, after each procedure, escort their patient to “recovery” and receive a lollipop for their surgical efforts.

Outside, the front lawn of the main building was transformed into a mini-zoo featuring camels, a zebra, a water buffalo, cows, llamas and other animals.