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COLLEGE STATION, TX - It's been called the
toughest job you will ever love, and yet in spite of the many
rewards, there remains a national shortage of rural
Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences is committed to spreading the word to current
and prospective veterinary medical students about the opportunities
that can be found in this challenging line of work.
The first step was hiring Dr. John Davidson, an Aggie and former
practicing veterinarian, to join the Food Animal Section of the
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the CVM.
"Today's students need to be told about the best kept secret in
all of veterinary medicine - mixed animal practitioners have more
fun," says Davidson. "The variety and opportunities (both medical
and surgical) available to today's progressive mixed animal
practitioner are beyond compare. If more graduates would just give
it a try, many would find these opportunities and lifestyles are
very inviting. There are tremendous practice opportunities in these
communities and the clientele are so appreciative."
And Davidson should know. He returns to A&M, where he
received both his undergraduate and veterinary medical degrees,
from a successful mixed animal practice that boasted two clinics in
Caldwell County. Leaving his practice and the strong relationships
he had with his business partner and very talented associate
veterinarians was a difficult choice, but Davidson realized that he
had a calling to work with students - perhaps making a small impact
on the rural practitioner shortage by being able to share his
experience and passion for the job with them.
"One of my many goals while here at Texas A&M is improving
the awareness and correcting some of the negative stigmas that are
often times incorrectly applied to rural/mixed or 'general'
veterinary medical practice," said Davidson. "A key advantage, that
often goes unnoticed, of entering mixed practice, even if for a
short time, is the solidification of the broad, vast, general
knowledge that all veterinary students get. Because of the
foundation and implementation of my education as a mixed or general
practice veterinarian, I know that after spending significant time
away from my practice, I feel confident that I could successfully
return to private practice at any point in the future."
Davidson acknowledges that some of the biggest challenges mixed
animal veterinarians face are the different level of management
intensity and sophistication among today's cattle producers. This
poses a challenge to all charged with providing a wholesome product
to an increasingly conscious beef consuming public.
"Cattle producers and veterinarians still need to have a close
and productive relationship, and the consumers want to know that
the product is safe and wholesome," said Davidson. "In this way,
veterinarians, working closely with the producers, play a
significant role in the safety of our food supply. We also need to
let producers know that when they make a choice to use Texas
A&M for their veterinary medical services, they are having a
profound effect on the future of veterinary medicine by creating
positive exposures and experiences for our students. The more this
happens, the more likely we are to increase the number of students
who would choose to go into mixed or general practice."
Davidson's enthusiasm for working with cattle and cattle
producers began at an early age, and that passion was nurtured by
his hometown veterinarians.
"Dr. Davidson has a lot of energy, and has already begun to
outline a very ambitious set of goals for the program," said Dr.
Dan Posey, chief of food animal medicine at Texas A&M. "We
couldn't have found a more dynamic individual to introduce our
students to mixed animal practice. We're very excited he's on board
and expect great things to come."
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
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