The Critter Fixers show high schoolers what it’s like to work in the veterinary profession during an event at the 2023 AVMA convention
Terrance Ferguson, DVM, and Vernard Hodges, DVM, star in the National Geographic Wild show Critter Fixers: Country Vets and also currently work in practice at Critter Fixers Veterinary Hospital in South Byron, Georgia.1 While attending the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in Denver, Colorado, the veterinary pair showed local high school student what it’s like to be a veterinarian and work in the veterinary field today from 9 AM-1 PM MT.2 The event, “Vet for a Day,” gave students a chance to learn from experts in the field where they will watch demonstrations of suturing, ultrasounds, and CPR, on molds, and other simulated equipment. However, for safety reasons, no animals were involved in this event.2
“At the AVMA, we love to help students learn about our wonderful profession, and the annual ‘Vet for a Day’ event gives us the opportunity to partner with the great ‘Critter Fixer’ team and to give back to our host city by encouraging high schoolers who are thinking about rewarding careers in the animal sciences,” said Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline), CVJ, AVMA President in a news release.2
Hodges told dvm360, "So I'm super excited to be here today and partner with the AVMA here in Denver. The conference has been amazing, it's so amazing to see all these veterinarians around. But the big thing is we have to create future veterinarians and that's what this 'Vet for a Day' program does."
He continued, "I'm looking forward to the suture station, the kids love suture and to actually see what it's like to be a doctor, teach them how to use the needle drivers, teach them how to use the thumb forceps, and actually suture things up. I always love that part."
Ferguson told dvm360, "I'm most excited for the kids to come in and just kind of get an idea of what veterinarians do. And at the end of the day, I just want to make sure these kids know that the field of veterinary medicine is an option for them. I feel as though the field of veterinary medicine is the best profession in the world and we want to share that with the kids today."
“To help build a diverse and inclusive veterinary community, it is vital that we expand exposure to veterinary career pathways and intentionally engage with young, aspiring veterinarians,” said Jeannette Ferran Astorga, President of the Zoetis Foundation. “Through our grant-making, we are proud to support the ‘Vet for a Day’ program as a founding sponsor and look forward to seeing the initiative continue to inspire and grow the next generation of veterinarians during the AVMA Annual Convention.”2
The event was sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the Zoetis Foundation, and PetSmart Veterinary Services and included 30 local high school students and 30 volunteer veterinarians and staff.