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Who's Your New Helper, Doctor?
Several times per year you may see us pulling into your farm or walking into the exam room with a new assistant in tow. Just in case you are thinking we are having trouble keeping help and are turning them over on a monthly or even weekly basis, we reassure you we are not having that kind of trouble. We are just helping out the future for veterinary medicine by taking in veterinary student interns.
Abilene Animal Hospital generally takes in 12-15 student interns per year for 1 to 3 week blocks. With Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine just 40 minutes away, you might guess that is where all the students come from. This is true for about ½ of the students. The rest come from all over the country. This year we have had students from Kansas State, University of Minnesota, Oklahoma State, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Iowa State, and even University of Melbourne in Australia.
What do the interns do? They observe veterinary practice “from the trenches”, so to speak. They assist with cases and travel with us to farms so they can see what kinds of things will be expected of them upon graduation.
Why do they come to AAH? Well, we thought that would best be answered by our most recent student intern, Hannah Lowe who is currently a senior veterinary student at Virginia-Maryland.
AAH: Where are you from and how did you end up choosing AAH for your internship?
Lowe: I grew up in a small town in Southeast Virginia known as Sedley. The slogan for our area used to be pigs, peanuts and pine trees, but we’re probably most famous for jumbo peanuts. I grew up with horses, and so I’ve always had an interest in equine medicine. My interest in other large animal species came when I got to veterinary school, which eventually led me to Abilene seeking more exposure to mixed animal private veterinary practice.
AAH: What are your plans after graduation?
Lowe: My current plan is to practice primarily large animal medicine at a mixed animal practice in a rural area. I would like to be somewhere in the South East, but I’ll go anywhere green grass grows.
AAH: What did you like about interning at AAH?
Lowe: AAH has an awesome dynamic environment as soon as you walk in the door. Staff and vets are warm and welcoming. I spent the majority of my time shadowing the large animal veterinarians. All were very encouraging of student learning opportunities and more than willing to take advantage of teaching moments. The folks at AAH are passionate about what they do, and as a student it makes a huge difference in the learning experience.
AAH: Name something you liked/were amused by in the town of Abilene, KS.
Lowe: I drove up to Abilene from another internship in the Texas panhandle on a Sunday thinking most places would be closed. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself spending the day exploring local attractions and museums. I visited the Eisenhower Center, Old Abilene Gunfighters, Train Depot, Greyhound Museum and my ultimate favorite- the American Indian Art Center. If you’re bored, go to the Indian Art Center and talk to the owners and they’ll tell you stories galore—it’s a great history refresher if you like that sort of thing.
AAH: Anything else you want to add?
Lowe: Thanks so much to everyone at AAH for taking the time and energy to share their wisdom and expertise with me.
Next time you see us with our latest student intern in tow, be sure to say hello and welcome them to the great town of Abilene! Thanks to the future Dr. Lowe for the interview and we wish her the best of luck on the remainder of her senior year at Virginia-Maryland.