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By: Hee Jin Yim

Recently we partnered with Princeton Review for the GRE. This means that paid members of our club receive a discounted price for their GRE prep classes online or in person. You can also take a free practice test to see where you're at on their website! 

Yesterday, October 11th, Doug McLemore came to share tips and strategies to ace the GRE exam.

                                          Major Takeaway?
  • Start studying 3 months ahead of your test date.
  • Study in a noisy environment.
  • Do not feel pressured into adding your 10 schools to send scores to before you begin the exam. (You'll be able to send them at a later time, unless you're taking the exam right before you apply.)
  • Guessing doesn't hurt! You will not get marked off points for the questions you've attempted but got wrong.

Find more tips in our meeting notes!
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Hello Vet Aides!

 Thank you all who came to Dinner With a Vet Student!
We were fortunate to have 24 veterinary students spend the evening at our event. They represented various fields such as small animal, exotic animal, and many more! Club members had the opportunity to visit with the students while enjoying a delicious dinner catered by Buca di Beppo. Members were allowed to switch tables to sit with students from another field about half way through the evening. Along with the great conversations and food, attendees were able to participate in fun animal trivia and our raffle. A few of the big prizes up for grabs were a personalized stethoscope, a $50 gift card to The Habit, and a $25 gift card to Starbucks! 

If you were unable to attend this year, be sure to try to attend Dinner with a Veterinary Student next year! This is a great opportunity to ask veterinary students any questions you have about veterinary school and veterinary medicine in general! Thank you to all the club members that attended and especially to those that helped with set up/clean up!

Article By Cristina Bequer
Photos By Tiffany Liem
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By: Nicole Fernandez

On Saturday, April 9, VAC members traveled to San Rafael to visit the home of Guide Dogs for the Blind.  We were fortunate to receive an excellent tour of the beautiful campus from Susan Fenn, a volunteer.

I hate to say it, but the Guide Dog’s dorms beat Tercero by a landslide!  They are gorgeous, recently built, and feature single bedrooms that look like they belong in a hotel.  The dorms are designed to be a comfortable place for students to stay during their two week training.

Guide Dogs for the Blind has their own in house veterinary clinic and staff.  One of the veterinarians we talked with graduated from UCD!  She fell in love with Guide Dogs when she spent a rotation there during her fourth year of veterinary school.  One of the perks of working here, she said, is that the dogs are so well behaved, and finances aren’t an issue due to generous donors.

Everyone’s favorite moment of the day, by far, was having two puppies stare and “wave” at us through a glass door.  All dogs are bred and born on the campus--which means there’s tons of cute goldens and labs everywhere!

If you are interested in volunteering with Guide Dogs for the Blind, you can find more information here: http://www.guidedogs.com/site/PageServer?pagename=help_volunteer .  Different positions include: breeding stock custodian, puppy raiser, campus volunteer, and speaker.  Campus volunteers have the opportunity to work in the veterinary clinic.
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If you didn't attend the Vet Aide Club's trip to "Panem" last weekend (aka the Yolo Bowmen Club), you missed out on a fun afternoon filled with mastering Katniss' archery techniques. The UC Davis Archery team taught us how to properly shoot a bow and then allowed our club members to shoot a few rounds at targets! The highlight of the social occurred during our last round when we put balloons on the targets to aim at! 
Thank you Rosalyn for planning this great social and to the UC Davis Archery team for taking the time to teach us. Be on the look out for another social later this quarter to get the chance to meet other Vet Aide Club members and have a good time!
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​VMCAS is only a month and a half way from opening for the 2017 application cycle! For those wanting to begin veterinary school in the fall of 2017, VMCAS will open on May 11, 2016 and will close on September 15, 2016. There are many things you need to prepare for your VMCAS application, such as a personal statement and transcripts. One of the important components would be the three required letters of recommendations (eLORs) with at least one being from a veterinarian. If you are applying this summer/fall, you hopefully already have people in mind that you want to ask for a letter of recommendation, but you may be wondering how to go about this.
 
You should begin asking for your letters in spring quarter, if you haven’t already, so your recommenders have plenty of time to submit your letter before the September 15th deadline! It is best to have a meeting with the individual so you can effectively communicate what you need in this letter and to validate that this is an individual who will write you a strong letter of recommendation! You can ask for this meeting either in person during office hours (if you’re asking a professor) or in a formal email. When you attend this meeting, you should bring a few things with you so your recommender can write you a detailed, strong letter of recommendation! You can bring them your resume, cover letter, transcript, and personal statement. The Health Professions Advising recommends that you should also bring directions for submitting the letter, deadline date for it, and suggestions for the focus/theme of the letter. When you enter the recommender’s name and email on VMCAS, they will receive an email with the directions also, but this typed out, physical version of them can serve as a reminder for them especially in case that they lose the email from VMCAS!
 
You may have noticed that the term “strong” has been used a few times in this post. You want to be sure that the people who are writing your letters will be able to say more than that you did well in their class. They need to be able to explain in detail your abilities and characteristics that will make you a great veterinary student. Just a “good” letter that may be a bit generic will stand out like a sore thumb compared to a great letter that includes personal examples of your traits. That is why it is so important that during your meeting with your potential recommender you are able to confirm that they will write you a strong letter. At the beginning of your meeting, you should ask if they will be able to do this. If there is any hesitation on their part or any other indicators that they will not be able to write you a strong letter, then you should consider pursuing someone else to be a recommender for you.
 
After the meeting, you should write them a thank you card or email to thank them for meeting with you, writing the letter, a reminder of the deadline, and any other information if they requested it. If the deadline is a few weeks away and they still haven’t submitted their letter, you can email them thanking them again for writing the letter and to remind them of the deadline. You should also mention if they can not write the letter, you’d appreciate it if they let you know. It is advised that you ask four people to write you letters, if you are able to, so that if a recommender does back out right before the deadline, you already have a letter ready! Remember, your application isn’t considered complete until you have submitted your application (including fees) and VMCAS has received the three required letters of recommendation! For more information about the letters of recommendation, please visit the VMCAS webpage at http://www.aavmc.org/Students-Applicants-and-Advisors/Veterinary-Medical-College-Application-Service.aspx
 
Good luck to those asking for letters of recommendations this quarter and applying for veterinary school this year! If you are interested in other requirements for applying to veterinary school and for help along the way, try to attend the HPA’s VetPrep series this quarter! Here is a link to their website where future meeting dates will be posted: http://hpa.ucdavis.edu/index.html
 
Best wishes,
Savannah Miller
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Hello lovely Vet Aides!

I hope your spring break is going well and you are making the most out of these last couple of days of break! Before the next quarter begins, let's reminisce on a highlight of last quarter for the Vet Aide Club: Dinner with a  Veterinary Professional!

We were fortunate to have 23 veterinary students and 7 veterinarians spend the evening at our event. They represented various fields such as small animal, exotic animal, and many more! Club members had the opportunity to visit with the students and veterinarians while enjoying a delicious dinner catered by Buca di Beppo. Members were allowed to switch tables to sit with professionals from another field about half way through the evening. Along with the great conversations and food, attendees were able to participate in fun animal trivia and our raffle. A few of the big prizes up for grabs were a personalized stethoscope, a Veterinary Medicine board game and flashcards set, and a safari ride for 4 at Safari West! 

If you were unable to attend this year, be sure to try to attend Dinner with a Veterinary Professional next year! This is a great opportunity to ask veterinary students and veterinarians any questions you have about veterinary school and veterinary medicine in general! Thank you to all the club members that attended and especially to those that helped with set up/clean up!

Enjoy the rest of spring break and we look forward to seeing you all at our spring internship meeting on Wednesday, March 30th at 7:10pm in Everson 173!
Best wishes,
Savannah Miller
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Do you know the difference between a throw and a turn?  Or what ipsilateral versus contralateral means?  Neither did we--until this workshop!  The Vet Aide Club was proud to host a Suture Clinic, lead by UCDSVM Surgery Club Officers Michael Maynard and Amber Robert, on February 13th.

Each VAC member had his/her own practice suture, forceps, needle driver, and practice board.  We practiced simple interrupted sutures, utilizing both square knots and surgeons knots.  We also did cross-like cruciates, simple continuous sutures (those are a little trickier to tie!), and a Miller’s knot (used for ligatures).  Learning how to properly hold the forceps and needle driver was one of the most difficult things.  Many of us learned that our hand strength is a little lacking--but, practice will make perfect!

If you wish to practice suturing at home, Michael recommends getting Brown-Adson Thumb Forceps.  Check out their club website for more information: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/clubs/vmsc/

Thank you to the Veterinary Medicine Surgery Club for providing us with a great demonstration!

Article and photos by Nicole Fernandez
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Saturday, February 6, 2016, was beautiful and sunny--a great day to take a drive to the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)!
Our day began with a tour of the SPCA’s beautiful administrative area and medical hospital, lead by Mr. Matthew Pawlowski.  The space has been newly remodeled, and features a network of offices, a Spay and Neuter Clinic, and the general hospital.  Majority of the offices we passed featured doggy doors and beds, so your best friend could join you at your work desk!

We learned that although SPCA volunteers are not able to work in surgery, they can become part of the SPORE program.  Due to the length/difficulty of treatment,  ringworm is one reason why some shelters choose to euthanize animals.  Thus, SPORE is focused on the detection, treatment, and elimination of this fungal disease.

We then headed over to the adoption center, to learn about adoptions, behavior, and enrichment from Ms. Frances Ho.  She told us about some really neat ways that the SF SPCA finds homes for the animals in their care.  Dogs who have a great nose, and might be a little too energetic for a household setting, can be sent to be trained to work with conservation biologists.  For instance, there’s a dog who’s been trained to recognize the scent of whale feces, and barks from the boat whenever he detects it!  Biologists are then able to collect samples for analysis.  Training or working with these awesome sniffers might be something interesting to explore as an alternate career choice!
Ms. Ho expressed her concern that animals were not receiving enough daily stimulation.  She wishes to address this problem through increased enrichment by means of novel toys, new recipes, auditory tapes, and more.  On February 13th, VAC members will return to the SPCA to assist with this new enrichment program.  They will be in charge of making pre-project observations of the animals, in hopes of answering questions like “Does Lemur the fat cat ever move?”.  Members are invited to later participate in a post-project observation, to discover if enrichments made a positive impact on shelter animals’ lives.

There are many additional ways to become involved.  During the summer, college students can apply for a paid position as a Summer Animal Camp counselor (this posting will be listed in a couple of week here: https://www.sfspca.org/who-we-are/careers/career-opportunities).  To become a regular volunteer, please visit https://www.sfspca.org/get-involved/volunteer for more information.

Article and photos by Nicole Fernandez.
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Hi all,
As most of you know, today was the Vet Aide Club's tour of the Sacramento Zoo! For those of you who were unable to attend, here is a summary of the day written by our assistant historian, Nicole Fernandez!

On January 23, 2016, the Vet Aide Club teamed up with the Wildlife Society to visit the Sacramento Zoo.  Members spent a couple of hours roaming the zoo grounds, visiting animals such as the oh-so-popular-red panda and the adorable wallaby.  A personal favorite was watching three three-month old lion cubs playing with each other and some pieces of wood!

At 1pm, everyone regrouped to listen to a Career Talk held by Mark. We learned that the Sacramento Zoo employs three types of keepers: primary, relief, and commissary.  These keepers have the opportunity to gain funding from the zoo to go on research projects: Mark and another keeper visited Nepal, and one of their veterinary technicians is planning to go to Peru this summer to study spectacled bears!

There are currently two veterinarians and two veterinary technicians employed by the zoo.  Both veterinarians also teach at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.  The Sacramento Zoo has a close association with our vet school which means they have access to some pretty cool technology--they were able to perform a $20,000 surgery on a tiger with cancer and urinary tract problems.

According to Mark, the most rewarding part of his job is being able to work with animals.  It is definitely a career that attracts very, very passionate people.  One of the most difficult aspects, he admitted, was the low wages provided.
The best way to get involved, or to get your “foot in the door” is by volunteering as a Keeper-Aide.  And an inside tip for being an awesome Keeper-Aide?  Know how to roll up hoses correctly!

If you would like to volunteer at the Sacramento Zoo, please visit http://www.saczoo.org/volunteer for more information.  There is also a Wildlife Conservation Expo, held every October in San Francisco by the Wildlife Conservation Network, that Mark suggests attending.
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Hello Vet Aide Club Members!

Winter quarter is starting to fly by, (Can you believe it's already week 3?) but don't forget about these great events before the midterm takeover begins! 

January 20
-VetPrep (Vet school interviews) 1204 Harring Hall 5:10pm
-Vet Aide Club general meeting: A UCDSOVM student will be speaking about his experiences and  application process. 176 Everson Hall 7:30pm

January 23
-Vet Aide Club Sacramento Zoo trip -if you were selected to go, you should have received an email from Jade about the details of the trip by now!

January 28
-AppPrep  (Personal statement workshop) Art 204 at 3:30pm

February 1
-VetPrep (Vet student panel) Surge III at 5:10pm

February 2
-Vet Aide Club general meeting: International Internships Opportunities guest speaker in Everson 176 at 7:30pm

February 6
-Vet Aide Club San Francisco SPCA tour 

I hope to see you all tonight at our first general meeting of the quarter (and first opportunity for participation points!).
Best wishes,
Savannah Miller
VAC Historian 
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