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K-State Advances International Veterinary Medicine Through Joint Doctorate Program with China

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By Joe Montgomery

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is training the domestic and international veterinarians of the future.

The veterinary college’s U.S.-China Center for Animal Health established the U.S.-China Joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program in 2012 to continue to advance its “One World, One Health” mission.

For each graduating veterinary class, four to six Chinese students enroll at the K-State campus to complete one year of pre-veterinary studies so they can acclimate to studying in the United States. After that year, the students may apply to study for their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at either K-State or one of three other U.S. veterinary colleges: University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, University of Georgia and University of Missouri.

“The goal of the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program is to train the trainers of Chinese veterinary medicine,” said Jishu Shi, professor and director of the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health. “This is truly an example of training the future leaders when they go back to China — some of these participants are already leaders.”

The program recently held the annual homecoming event for participants, where the scholars come together to exchange experiences from their classroom studies and externships at different institutions. Continuing a tradition that started last year, program graduates brought along friends from their respective veterinary colleges so each could share anecdotes about the value of camaraderie while tackling the challenges of completing the degree, especially for the students for whom English is a second language.

“What I have been trained for is sufficient enough to support my lifelong learning,” said Siyu Xiao, who just completed the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree this May at Iowa State University. “I will try to apply what I learned here when I return to China to improve education there and to improve global animal health.”

The U.S.-China Center for Animal Health provides scholarships to cover the first year of pre-veterinary tuition and five years of student activities through funding from Zoetis, Yebio Bioengineering and Chinese partnering universities. The China Scholarship Council supports four years of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine tuition and living stipends for five years.

“Dr. Wu has been an exceptional model of collaboration in this profession,” said Madeline Moore. She and Yunhong Wu completed their degrees at the University of Minnesota this year. “She exemplifies the skills of a leader, and she is going to be an excellent clinician one day. I would be very proud to collaborate with Chinese veterinarians like Dr. Wu in the future.”

The other graduates and their friends are Shumin Li, Zixuan Wang and Rebecca Ullom-Minnich from Kansas State University and Xiao and Melissa Garcia Rodriguez from Iowa State University. The Chinese graduates in the U.S.-China Joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will return to China to be associate professors at top Chinese universities.

In addition to the recent graduates, the homecoming event included the current Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students in the program, who each gave a status report on their activities over the last school year. There were three students who just finished their pre-veterinary studies at K-State and 13 students currently attending the four universities in the program. Three alumni also attended the homecoming event and reported their work and achievements in China.

The rest of the guest list included administrators from the partnering veterinary schools in the U.S. and China, plus Mike McFarland, global chief medical officer with Zoetis Animal Health, who gave a leadership seminar on the second day of the homecoming event. Beth Sabin, director of global outreach with the American Veterinary Medical Association, gave an overview of the association’s governance and organizational structure.

The U.S.-China Joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program has graduated 27 candidates since 2012. This year, 10 K-State program graduates established the Dr. Luo Qingsheng Travel Award as a gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine. The award will support two K-State veterinary students each year with $4,000 scholarships for travel to China.

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