Overview of New Clinical Opportunities in Private Practice for CVM Students

Overview of New Clinical Opportunities in Private Practice for CVM Students


I’m Dr. Susan Ackermann, proud member of the
class of 1986. I reside and practice in the Lehigh Valley
of Pennsylvania, where I own my own feline-exclusive hospital called The Cat Doctor. I also am a founder and former owner at Valley
Central Emergency and Critical Care Hospital. I serve as the Alumni Association Executive
Board President. The Alumni Association Executive Board has
launched new clinical opportunity externships in private practice. My fellow board member Dr. Pasquale Meleleo
and I rolled out the initiative to block five students in the spring of 2017. This project allows veterinary students to
have a behind-the-scenes view of daily life working as a private practitioner. The students will be exposed to all aspects
of veterinary practice, from patient check-in to discharge, and will complement their formal
training in the CPS – community practice service – rotation. We’re offering it both as an externship and
a clinical opportunity. At two Alumni Association Executive Board
Meetings, reports from Dean Warnick and hospital director Meg Thompson, on subjects of student
debt and new graduate employment trends, created great interest amongst my board members to
create a cooperative solution. Our objective is to choose Cornell veterinarians
who are passionate about private practice, who are willing to individually mentor students. We want to deliver an experience to those
who are uncertain about their chosen path. They may be contemplating veterinary practice
and possibly hospital ownership, or they may be considering proceeding directly to internship,
but we want to make them confident enough to act on these plans. Because most of the CU vet externships focus
on specialty or academics, this experience would be most useful for students considering
private practice employment immediately post-graduation. The participating practices will be required
to fulfill specific requirements and have at least one Cornell vet school graduate supervising
the student. The AAEB clinical ops is listed at Student
Services, just as you would for all other externships. Although we’ve launch the program with four
AAEB-member hospitals, we are very receptive to including other alumni in our offerings,
particularly those that differ in geographic location and species seen.

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