Michigan State University's (MSU) departments of Animal Science and Large Animal Clinical Sciences are addressing the present and projected shortage of food animal veterinarians. MSU's "Production Medicine Scholars" is a special undergraduate study program designed to prepare students for a career in herd-based, production medicine and ag veterinary practice.
Individuals who wish to be a veterinarian and work with food animals can now avoid competing with several hundred other applicants for acceptance into MSU's College of Vet Medicine, says Roy Fogwell, professor of reproductive physiology and management.
"In addition to current pre-veterinary requirements students, enrolled in Production Medicine Scholars will also study farm finance, statistics and advanced sciences," Fogwell says. "There will also be a requirement that these students have direct experience on farms with husbandry and management."
Each year, up to 10 students who have addressed the requirements may be granted admission each year into the professional veterinary medicine program.
Fogwell says students interested in production livestock ag and vet medicine as a career should consider enrollment in the Production Medicine Scholars concentration, Fogwell says.
"Even if you don't attend vet college, with the additional study in finance, science and farm experience, this program is an excellent education," he says.
Production Medicine Scholars will be majors in animal science and must have a strong commitment to livestock agriculture. This can be demonstrated with youth activities, family experiences, employment, extracurricular activities, or other forms of service or activities within the livestock industry.
"We are enthusiastic and optimistic that this program will address partially the current shortage of production medicine veterinarians," Fogwell concludes.