The program supports one or more graduate students in a training and residency program in the college's Department of Comparative Pathobiology. The program helps meet a need for poultry veterinarians, said Pat Wakenell, associate professor of avian diagnostics at Purdue and co-head of avian diagnostics at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. "With the rise in popularity of the general public running hobby farms, there is a lack of knowledge and skills needed to address the health and wellness of poultry and other livestock," Wakenell said.
She said the program helps provide a solution by integrating poultry medicine into the block schedule for fourth-year doctor of veterinary medicine students. Three 2012 Purdue veterinary graduates went on to pursue jobs in the field.
In addition, the residency program will provide training in all major areas of an active poultry medicine practice such as diagnostic pathology and farm visits, Wakenell said. It also incorporates a training curriculum designed to lead to board certification in either the American College of Veterinary Pathologists or the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.
Purdue's first resident in the program, Yuko Sato, a 2012 doctor of veterinary medicine graduate, started the program in August 2012 and plans to continue for three years. Wakenell said the program plans to have a second resident start in July.
"One of the goals is to graduate a poultry veterinarian every year," Wakenell said. "We've had great support from the Indiana State Poultry Association, which is providing financial assistance with travel for residents who are working with clients around the state. We're seeking additional private fundraising to further grow the endowed teaching program."