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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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VSEP Testimonials

Alex Khaddouma - VSEP 2008

Alex Khaddouma

I applied to the Veterinary Summer Experience Program thinking that the program could not possibly offer me all that it promised in the pamphlet. However, upon gaining admission to the program, I quickly realized that this was not the case. I became immersed in the world of animal health and learned a tremendous amount about the career opportunities, education, and passion for animal well-being offered by a career in veterinary medicine. Through VSEP, I was able to work in the veterinary clinic at the Knoxville Zoo Ė an opportunity which lead to many subsequent jobs at the zoo and at the College of Veterinary Medicine. I gained basic skills through this job, which I would later apply to many other areas of my work. The conclusion of VSEP at UTCVM allowed me to meet fellow students with similar interests as my own. I made friends while becoming introduced to the veterinary hospital, getting a feel for course work in veterinary school, and most importantly, meeting professors and clinicians who would continue to support and educate me well into my later years of undergraduate school. I appreciated the freedom to choose which clinical rotations I wanted to shadow. My favorite was the pathology rotation, which subsequently led to me getting a job in the pathology department at UTCVM. Ultimately, VSEP introduced me to the world of veterinary medicine and gave me the basic training to seek further opportunities within the field. I would recommend this program to any student interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. You will most certainly gain an incredible amount of knowledge, make important contacts within the field of veterinary medicine, make friends, and have so much fun.

John Tyler Green - VSEP 2007
UTCVM Class of 2015

John Tyler GreenThe University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine has contributed significantly to my development as a future veterinarian. In 2007, as a graduating high school senior, I was fortunate to be selected to participate in the Veterinary Summer Experience Program. This eight week program undoubtedly clarified my career interest in veterinary medicine. Thanks to the Summer Experience, I was able to explore the various facets of both large and small animal medicine. I now understand how veterinary medicine encompasses all aspects of animal health and how it extends to all areas of human-animal interaction. Through the Summer Experience Program, I was placed with Dr. R. Mark Burke, a solo, mixed animal practitioner, who has become a life-long mentor and friend. After completing the Veterinary Summer Experience Program, I was offered employment working under Dr. Burke. Since 2007, I have been given a vast amount of hands-on experience that I may have never encountered had it not been for the opportunity to participate in this program. This experience has already contributed to my success as veterinary student at UTCVM and will continue to aid me in my studies and future practice. The VSEP not only benefitted me through the experience of caring for animals, but I gained an appreciation for a career in the field of veterinary medicine as an entrepreneurial endeavor in communicating with clients, co-workers, and other professionals. Ultimately, the value of this opportunity is priceless as it gives the participants a thorough exploration of the endless career paths that this field offers and a motivation to diligently pursue oneís undergraduate and professional studies.

Brittany Mathes - VSEP 2004
UTCVM Class of 2012

John Tyler Green

The Veterinary Summer Experience Program provided me with my first tangible animal experience. The experience and knowledge that I gained through VSEP has kept me alive--both academically and physically (Iím sure my career path would be A LOT different if I never learned how to PROPERLY restrain a cat!!!). It ignited my dedication to academic excellence by allowing me to learn 3 things. First, I learned more and more about what I loved (animals). Second, I learned to love learning. Third, I learned I could GET PAID A LOT to learn about what I loved! Regardless of whether or not I had continued to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, I developed qualities that arenít specific to the veterinary field such as teamwork, accountability, and professionalism. The Veterinary Summer Experience Program helped me become the strong, determined "doctor in training" that I am!


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