By the time most students at Utah State University have attended their first week of classes this semester, the 32 students accepted into the USU College of Veterinary Medicine will already have taken their first tests.
Students in the College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2027 arrived for a week of orientation in mid-August in preparation for the demanding four-year program they are starting to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
The orientation covers some nuts and bolts of navigating facilities and policies, but the week is titled the Aggie Wellness Experience because the focus is on providing students with connections to their new community of scholars, introducing tools that can help build resilience and improve mental health and wellbeing, and formally welcoming students to the profession.
While USU’s fall semester begins Aug. 28, the earlier start for vet med students aligns the program with the schedule with students’ peers at Washington State University where the USU students will go for the final two years of training after completing their first two years at USU.
The college has been a partner in the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine since 2012 as part of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The College of Veterinary Medicine is the university’s newest college and is preparing to expand its program to provide a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at USU’s Logan campus.
The college expects its first class of four-year students to begin their studies in the fall semester of 2025. A new veterinary medicine building will be constructed near the corner of 1400 North and 1200 East in Logan, and students will also continue to learn and gain hands-on experience at the university’s Animal Science Research Farm in Wellsville.
A few facts about the incoming class of first-year students:
- There are 24 women and 8 men in the class
- Twenty-two students are Utah residents, and others come from Nevada, California, Texas, Connecticut, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin and Wyoming
- The class includes the first student in the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine program who earned a bachelor’s degree at USU Eastern (and worked with a veterinarian who is a USU-WIMU alumnus)
- The students’ undergraduate majors include biochemistry, biology, anthropology, finance, economics, kinesiology and veterinary science
A highlight of the week for students and their families and friends was the White Coat Ceremony, which is a tradition at medical schools nationwide. Students were presented with their first white coat, donated by college supporters and members of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association. The gathering at USU was linked via video feed with the ceremony at WSU and students were formally welcomed into the profession by Dr. Dirk Vanderwall, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Dori Borjesson, dean of Washington State’s College of Veterinary Medicine; and Utah Veterinary Medical Association President Dr. Susan Benson.
At the end of the ceremony, the USU students joined their new colleagues in taking the Veterinary Student Oath which says, in part, “I promise to work conscientiously to develop my scientific and medical knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”
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