The first two students to participate in a new international externship program established between the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and CCS Haryana Agricultural University (HAU) in Hisar, India, have recently returned to India after their visit to the United States.

The students, Hari Mohan and Pawan Chahal, were selected by the HAU administration to participate in the new program based upon academic merit. They spent two fast-paced, in-depth weeks studying modern clinical practices in Maryland and Virginia.

“It is becoming increasingly important that veterinary students become aware of the concept of globalization and the impact it will have on them and on our profession,” said Dr. Bettye Walters, director for international programs in the college, who organized the program.

During their two weeks in the United States, the students spent a great deal of time with Dr. Larry Geibel, a long-time friend of the college, and his staff at the Quince Orchard Veterinary Hospital. Two of Giebel’s daughters have earned their D.V.M. degrees in the college and a third is currently enrolled. They also visited each campus of the college.

As the program continues to grow, veterinary students will have the opportunity to travel to India during their winter break to learn about livestock and poultry management practices, camel production and their diseases, foreign animal diseases, and water buffalo production, according to Walters.

“The overall benefit of this program will be an increased number of veterinarians who have the competency to investigate issues of critical importance to the international agribusiness economy,” explained Walters.

Primary support for the exchange program is derived from the United States – India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Education, Teaching, Research, Service, and Commercial Linkages.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.


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