Pfizer Animal Health's Commitment to Veterinarians externship program promoted an interest in livestock animal medicine to 112 students in 2010.
The program, which gives first- and second-year veterinary medicine students hands-on training, has expanded after two years to veterinary schools all across the U.S. “We have students who were not previously considering practicing in rural communities and certainly not working with food animals,” said Dr. Mike Nichols with Beef Veterinary Operations at Pfizer. “After their externship, the response they give is that this is an area of practice they were previously unaware of. They are appreciative of the opportunity and are now strongly considering entering that type of practice.”
In addition to the externships, the Commitment to Veterinarians program provides scholarships to third-year college students preparing to enter the work force. “We want to be there to support them with scholarships to help offset educational expenses,” said Nichols. “The cost of veterinary education is enormous. This year at the 2010 AABP Convention, Pfizer Animal Health awarded $147,000 in scholarships to 29 students from across the U.S. specifically pursuing bovine practice. These veterinary students are now in their final year of studies and will become practicing veterinarians after graduating next spring.” Pfizer has also partnered with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to establish a national scholarship program that will provide $2 million in its first three years.