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International Programs Student Trip Reports
In keeping with Texas A&M’s Vision 2020 objective of graduating students with a global perspective based on global experiences, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences provides a limited number of travel stipends to students to help them gain international work/study experiences. The following travel reports give an overview of what our students learned while living, working, and studying abroad.
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Germany - Patricia Warne

Germany - Patricia Warne

My time overseas has literally changed my life. My time abroad was spent in Germany, a country that I fell in love, with and hoped to return to following graduation. I spent four weeks in a small animal general practice, and then two weeks in an alternative medicine veterinary practice.

In general, the medicine between Germany and the US is very similar. My day at the small animal practice started just before 8am and continued until 8pm on some evenings. They had a walk in clinic that saw 40% dogs, 40% cats, and 20% pocket pets. I learned that it is very normal for small animal clinics to have a significant portion of their patients of the very small and furry pet variety. This is partially due to most of the clients living in apartments as well as German's love for all animals regardless of how small. We saw rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, mice, and rats on a daily basis. I learned quite a bit about how these animals are treated, such as, if you see a problem in the rabbit's eye, always look to the teeth.

Especially in more liberal cities such as Leipzig, there is a push against chemical substances. The use of homeopathic, acupuncture, or physical therapeutic medicine is increasing. Even the western medicine general practice uses some natural and homeopathic remedies. This is secondary to a two-fold approach of our doctors goal of "do no harm" and a desire to help protect the environment.platzhalter

It was for these reasons that I elected to spend my elective rotation at a homeopathic veterinary clinic. The first thing that I noticed is that many of these patients are repeat or chronic offenders that traditional western medicine was unable to help. Their owners were often simply looking for another option or even a less invasive alternative to what our traditional veterinarian counterparts could provide. The veterinarian I worked under offered a gentler approach, with fewer un-pleasantries such as injections, and thorough physical exams. I was impressed that her physical examination could take up to 30 minutes as she felt each muscle and vertebral body, looked at every skin lesion, and moved slow enough that her patients felt more comfortable at the end of the exam than the beginning.

I am moving to Germany in June. This has always been my plan and I am very thankful to Texas A&M for supporting my dreams. My hope is to learn more about the different perspective in Germany and when or if I return to bring a different viewpoint to clinics here in the US.


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