XENIA — After spending just one school year in a classroom, some Ohio State veterinary school students are getting a jump on the clinical portion of their studies.
Through the Stanton Summer Externship, 24 first- and second-year students are spending 10 weeks in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia doing what is usually reserved for fourth-year students — working on pets. Four of the students are honing their skills at Docton Animal Clinic in Xenia.
“A lot of students don’t get this experience,” said Dr. Liesa Rihl Stone, a Cedarville native and assistant dean of the college of veterinary medicine. “There were several students that applied. They’re learning skills to build their competence and confidence.”
The 10-week externship is highly competitive and it allows the students to experience what many graduates face in their first months in practice and beyond.
The students aren’t just watching actual doctors either. On Monday, Emily Meese and Matthieu Meihls spent the morning spaying cats under the supervision of Dr. Gretchen Gale.
“It’s a really great program,” Meihls said. “We sit in a classroom for nine months a year, and we learn a lot (but) you come into a setting like this … with the doctors here … they let us have a lot of hands-on experience we wouldn’t otherwise be receiving. (It) has allowed us to prepare ourselves to be better doctors.”
Docton has participated for the last few years and was chosen for its ability to provide a spectrum of care to pets from clients from a wide array of socioeconomic backgrounds.
“We’ve always enjoyed having students here,” said Dr. Matt Stonecypher, who along with his wife, Tina, has owned Docton since 2007. “It’s Xenia, so there’s a mixture of urban and rural. There’s a mixture of problems. It also invigorates my staff.”