Tag Archives: DVM student

Interning with the Cheetah Conservation Fund

Erin Belleville (Class of 2020) was one of many UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine students who participated in an externship or internship this year through our Office of Global Programs. This is her account:

My summer of 2017 actually turned into winter as I was granted the opportunity of completing a veterinary internship with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia. With funding provided by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Office of Global Programs, I was able to spend eight weeks in Otjiwarango, Namibia gaining experience in research, as well as wildlife and exotic animal medicine. The main focus of my internship was to gain clinical experience with exotic felids. However, with very little research experience, I planned to get my feet wet in that department as well.

Cheetah Conservation Fund takes a holistic approach when it comes to managing the population decline of the endangered cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). The facility conducts important research, educates the public, and focuses on conservation of the species and the environment. This multi-faceted approach allowed me to gain knowledge and skills in many aspects of wildlife medicine.

During my time at CCF, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of species from domestic dogs and livestock, to wild and rescued cheetahs, and African painted dog puppies. Upon arrival at the facility, I was quickly integrated into the daily management of the 17 year old cheetah named Sandy. This handleable cheetah was being treated for kidney failure, and allowed me to administer her twice-daily subcutaneous fluids and medications. As my internship progressed, I also helped manage and treat a second elderly cheetah, also diagnosed with kidney failure. This cat was less keen to be handled by people, so she was treated in a squeeze cage, allowing me to learn and practice a different set of skills. Continue reading

Advocating for the Veterinary Profession

I’m Michael Hung, currently the Senior CVMA Representative and from the Class of 2019. In April, Navneet Saini, the Senior SAVMA Rep and a fellow Class of 2019er, and I got to attend the AVMA Fly-In in Washington DC as UCDSVM representatives.

Navneet Saini and Michael Hung

Although their work might be unknown to some in the veterinary profession, the AVMA actively advocates for the veterinary profession on a national and political level. The Governmental Relationships Division (GRD) meets with and lobbies political figures in order to advance veterinary medicine and animal welfare. A few weeks ago, Navneet Saini (Class of 2019) and I had the opportunity to represent UC Davis to do just that. The AVMA Legislative Fly-In invites students from veterinary schools all over the country to our nation’s capital to participate in this unique and important event so that we may see how veterinary medicine is involved in our nation’s political process.

The event lasted two days: the first as a kind of “training” meeting to prep us for what would happen the next day, and included a general overview to the political side of AVMA (spoiler alert: there’s a lot of stuff going on) and the wonderful world of lobbying. It was during this time that they began to explain and detail the two pieces of legislation we would be advocating for as veterinary students: The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act, or VMLRPE Act, (try saying that four times…which we had to do) and the Re-Authorization of the Higher Education Act. Continue reading

An Insider’s Guide to RX One Health Course in Tanzania (Final part IV): Thank you!

Taylor Calloway (Class of 2018) was one of twenty-one students who participated in the new Rx One Health Course based in Tanzania and Rwanda during June 2017. This is Taylor’s personal narrative aiming to illustrate her daily experiences, a deeper understanding of the One Health approach in a real-world setting, and the big question of “why is this course important.”

This is the final installment of Taylor’s experience. Read Part I, II and III


Eric and I preparing for presentations.

The day of presentations has come. Previously I failed to mention, that this presentation was not only to our own course leaders, but also to other important stakeholders and supporters of the Kinigi Community that have great influential power over what is to come from the buffer zone.

To say the least, nerves were slightly hyphened. But we all did an amazing job as presenters and while we were answering questions. After, we were able to speak with the stakeholders over lunch. It was enlightening to hear the fact that most people were genuinely impressed with our ideas and there is a very likely future for the groundwork plan we created. It made me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside to think, I have made a small impact. In the future, I will definitely be looking into help this project succeed and become a sustainable positive influence on the community members, conservation of wildlife, and the country of Rwanda as a whole. Continue reading

An Insider’s Guide to RX One Health Course in Tanzania (Part I)

Rx One Health Course Travel Blog: The Insiders Guide

Maasi artist

Maasi Mama Rosie Mgemaa made the arm bracelet held by Taylor Calloway (Class of 2018).

Taylor Calloway (Class of 2018) was one of twenty-one students who participated in the new Rx One Health Course based in Tanzania and Rwanda during June 2017. This is Taylor’s personal narrative aiming to illustrate her daily experiences, a deeper understanding of the One Health approach in a real-world setting, and the big question of “why is this course important.”

Follow Taylor’s journey through pictures, videos and tales as she attempts to understand the foundations of One Health while learning new veterinary skills, developing her place in a cooperative and immersive professional team, making life-long memories and friends, and embracing an inimitable, but personally foreign culture.



Having never traveled to any African countries before, and this journey being a dream of mine since the age of seven, I was extremely anxious arriving at the San Francisco International Airport. All I could think was “Dang you, Animal Planet, for giving me dreams!”

Once I arrived in D.C. for a connecting flight, two fellow Rx One Health participants found me before our next flights—a classmate, June, and a new friend from Georgia, Marie. Thirteen hours to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia proved to be uneventful, and the next three hours to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania followed suit.

We were luckier than others. Once we arrived, the discovery of lost luggage by a participant and course leader left the three of us empathetic as we all understand that fear. This is especially worrisome as we leave on another plane for Iringa, Tanzania tomorrow morning. Unpredictability is scary and unfortunately a very real issue with international travel in general. Yet, as unsettled as both these individuals were, they also decided to figure out a plausible solution together, which I felt helped ease the unnerving feeling.

Southern Sun Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

I was happy to discover that we all had our own rooms for the first night to settle in and readjust ourselves for what is to come the next month. We were able to eat dinner at the Southern Sun Hotel (which is a beautiful hotel with great food), sing Happy Birthday to Eric, a public health veterinary student, and get to know each other a little before heading to bed early.

First four to meet at the Southern Sun Hotel. Left to right: Maria Ertner (Demark), Alessandra Amadeo (California), June Barrera (California), and Marie Bosch (Georgia).

Continue reading

Leadership Critical to Future of Veterinary Medicine

Delegates to the SAVMA Symposium included from left: Navneet Saini (Class of 2019), Elizabeth Malcolm (Class of 2018), and Jamie Lemus (Class of 2020)

Contributed by Elizabeth Malcolm, Class of 2018 

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the SAVMA Symposium at Texas A&M along with seven other veterinary students from UC Davis. I attended on behalf of the SAVMA Executive Board, while other students attended to represent our local chapter.

During the House of Delegates (HOD) meetings, Navneet Saini (SAVMA Delegate and Class of 2019) accepted the Teaching Excellence award on behalf of Dr. Jim Clark, which was a huge honor as this was the second year in a row UC Davis has received this award. In addition, the HOD recognized Tereza Chylkova (Class of 2017) as the recipient of the Jon Pitts award. This award recognizes one veterinary student that has gone above and beyond in service and dedication to the veterinary profession. The awards received during Symposium are of high honor, and represent the incredible students and faculty we are blessed to have here at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

My involvement in organized medicine has been incredibly rewarding, as it has allowed me to experience first-hand the impact that one person, be that a student or veterinarian, can have on our profession. After I return from each of these symposiums, I always feel inspired and motivated to advocate further for issues that affect our profession. Whether the topic relates to challenges we face such as student debt, or mental health and wellness, or conversely celebrating scientific advances we have made, everything discussed on a national level has direct impacts on our experiences as veterinarians.

If there is one thing I could pass on to students of this profession, I would encourage them to become as involved in leadership roles and organized medicine as possible. Our profession is incredibly small and interconnected, and it is magnificent to feel like we can all make a difference for ourselves and others. I have no double that is truly the best profession in the world.