Five biology students with a keen interest in veterinary medicine explored potential careers during the North American Veterinary Community’s Meeting & Expo in Orlando last month.
The world’s leading veterinary conference offered immersive learning and networking opportunities to the undergraduate students, who attended hour-long sessions on topics such as animal behavior and stress, sea turtle nutrition and physical exams for reptiles. Looking ahead, the students also met with representatives from graduate schools.
Pre-Veterinary Club founder Alyssa Macaluso was intrigued by Christian mission opportunities spaying/neutering dogs and cats or helping farmers vaccinate their cattle.
“It helped me see how big the field of veterinary medicine is,” said Macaluso, who is working toward becoming a veterinary surgeon. “It’s more than just being a veterinarian. It’s very interesting.”
The undergraduate students attended the conference alongside veterinary technicians, veterinary school students, pharmacists and professionals who deal with food and medical devices.
Amber Lewis, a sophomore marine biology major from Crosby, Minnesota, was impressed by the technological advances the students saw. Veterinarians can, for example, use a thermal-imaging device to detect where animals are hurting.
Lewis aspires to open a sea turtle rehabilitation facility similar to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Macaluso, a sophomore biology major in the pre-health professional preparation track, has been working toward her goals for years. She enrolled in Wellington Community High School’s Equine Pre-Veterinary Academy and shadowed an equine veterinarian while in the program.
After she graduated, Macaluso started shadowing a small animal veterinarian. She learned how to do bloodwork, operate a therapeutic laser, read X-rays and communicate with distressed owners. Macaluso found her calling in medicine — for animals.
“I’ve always loved animals, and I’ve always been good at math and science, so I feel like being a doctor for animals fit the bill,” Macaluso said.
Photo 1: Alyssa Macaluso, Amber Lewis, Leslie Strong, Clara Lucas and Isabelle Arjona pose for a photo at the North American Veterinary Community Meeting & Expo in Orlando.
Photo 2: Clara Lucas holds puppies that roamed around while participants did pilates during a break in the North American Veterinary Community Meeting & Expo in Orlando.