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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                    Fall 2011

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What is Mentor Day?

by Kris Evans, DVM, DACVS

Driving home from Blacksburg, VA, after completing my second year serving the Virginia Maryland Regional College as a mentor at a college I did not attend, I thought about my alma mater. I wish they had a similar program and that I lived close enough to participate. Then I thought about all the Maryland and Virginia graduates who either are unaware of the program, or are not involved, and the experience they are missing.

Mentor Day actually gets rolling the night before with a barbeque at the veterinary school. At dinner, all the mentors are introduced (Virginia has MANY more than Maryland!) and the students find their assigned mentor and share a meal over introductions and discussion. Each freshman student should be assigned to a mentor via email prior to this event. Maryland and Virginia students are preferentially assigned to a mentor from their home state, although we do not currently have enough mentors from Maryland for all the Maryland students. Then, after the dinner, mentors and students may elect a quieter location, such as Big Al’s, to continue the discussion.

On Mentor Day, the morning begins with breakfast and two mentors at each table with their mentees. At 9 a.m., the students start traveling to different tables in 15-minute intervals, similar to speed dating. This allows students to meet several different practitioners working in the student’s area of interest. At 11 a.m., questions written by the students are asked of the practitioners, including some of the vet school candidate interview questions, which can be quite challenging even now!

Finally, everything ends with lunch and goodbyes. Hopefully all the students have developed contacts who can help them over the next few years with advice, summer employment, and other future professional contacts.

The Virginia Tech grads often stay the weekend for the game and to enjoy other the company of other alumni, and the mentors who graduated from other vet schools leave with an appreciation of the mentor program’s stated goals of enriching student and veterinarian relationships. I personally am hopeful that some of the students will follow through on the invitation I extended to visit our hospital and spend time as an extern with one of our specialty practices. Several students visited us last year, and their externships were very successful.

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Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine


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