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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                    Spring 2011

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Forging an Alternate Path
by Claire Simeone, VMRCVM, Class of 2011

The year 2011 signifies a milestone for every member of my class at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. We are each about to become a working part of this great profession. I am excited to join the ranks as a veterinarian, although I plan to pursue this career in a more non-traditional manner.

The Virginia-Maryland Public-Corporate tracking program is unique in its ability to foster careers outside of private practice. My focus is on wildlife medicine and international conservation. During my time at VMRCVM, I have been lucky 

enough to participate in several programs that have strengthened my experience in this area. Envirovet is a program that teaches ecosystem health and wildlife management in a variety of settings. In 2008 I spent time at White Oak Conservation Center in Florida learning wildlife immobilization and anesthesia, as well as in Tanzania, working with local veterinarians on issues such as the human-livestock-wildlife interface, transboundary issues, and zoonotic disease management.

Last summer took me to Valdivia, Chile, in an exchange program between VMRCVM and the Universidad Austral de Chile. I took a course in bovine tuberculosis testing and eradication, and was able to see how public health veterinarians in Chile are managing this disease.

My clinical rotations this year have taken me to several interesting places. I spent time in Saint Barthelemy in the French West Indies, researching the economic impact of Dengue fever on the island. We are hoping to revolutionize their current method of mosquito control in order to begin to control this emerging disease. I am grateful to the MVMA for awarding me the Dr. Cleveland A. Brown scholarship to assist with this research.

I am currently completing externships at both the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, achieving a personal dream of mine that allows me to work with everything from aardvarks to elephants. Clinics will end with a rotation at International Fund for Animal Welfare in Washington DC, to learn more about the policy side of international work.

The best part about having a veterinary degree is the world of distinct possibilities it offers. I have decided to spend the next year strengthening my skills as a clinician in a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. I hope to follow that experience with a residency in zoological medicine, and plan to one day own a company that solves wildlife conservation issues on an international level. I am so grateful to Virginia-Maryland for encouraging my development in a non-traditional veterinary field. It will be exciting to see what the future holds.

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VMRCVM Chilean Exchange Program

Claire Simeone wins International Experiences Speech Competition


2011 Maryland Veterinary Medical Association

Annapolis, MD 21403 (410) 931-3332 fax (410) 931-2060