Student Spotlight: SAVMA Symposium 2014
by Sara Waltz
Sara Waltz is a DVM candidate in the Class of 2016, vice president of her class, a student ambassador for the college and the American Animal Hospital Association, president of the Companion Animal Club, and marketing coordinator for the Veterinary Business Management Association. She and a group of VA-MD Vet Med students traveled to Colorado over spring break to attend the three-day Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Symposium and she prepared this post-trip summary.
On March 20-22, I was joined by fellow VA-MD Vet Med students as well as future colleagues from around the world to attend the 2014 SAVMA Symposium in Fort Collins, Colo. We spent four days exploring the diversity of veterinary curricula, meeting other vet students, enjoying the scenery, and, most importantly, taking with us a wealth of new knowledge.
The symposium lectures covered several areas for students to choose from, including discussions regarding prions and snake bite envenomation as a nationwide issue, orthopedic advancements and respiratory emergencies in small animals, regenerative therapies in horses, and wildlife techniques in sterilization, as well as business management and leadership. In addition to the opportunities to tour the Colorado State University veterinary campus located in Fort Collins, we could also choose to visit the nearby bison ranch, aquarium, breweries, or shops.
The wet labs at the symposium were very popular. I personally was able to participate in an emergency-based wet lab during which we learned to place tracheostomy tubes, intraosseus catheters, and chest tubes, among other techniques. Other wet labs included endoscopy and ultrasound, pathology, wildlife histology, equine limb blocks, and dentistry. Several of our students involved with the Food Animal Practitioners Club (FAPC) formed a palpation team and participated in a competition as well.
We were excited when we got the word that Maria Romano, a member of our DVM Class of 2016 and a SAVMA Senior Delegate, was elected to the SAVMA Executive Board as the Global and Public Health Officer-elect during the symposium.
Extracurricular events during the symposium included a day of skiing and evening socials including a casino night and gala. It was amazing to be able to collaborate and commiserate with students around the world who were gathered for the same purpose. We were excited to meet new people and to reconnect with old friends. The energy from this experience was a rejuvenating lift to help us power through the remainder of our current semester!