From classroom to conference: Insights from a veterinary student at Fetch Charlotte

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First year veterinary student, Emily Haupt, shares her experience while at the conference and the impact it had on her.

For 14 veterinary students from North Carolina State University (NCSU), spring break wasn't just about relaxation—it was about seizing a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the forefront of the veterinary industry and make career shaping connections.

With generous financial support from the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) at NCSU and its sponsors plus my ambassadorship as a student affiliated with dvm360®, I was able to attend the Fetch Charlotte Conference in March. This gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in all the conference had to offer to make the most of this experience

From left to right: Bec Mitchell, Anna Froneberger, and Emily Haupt, all first year veterinary students from North Carolina State University (Images courtesy of Emily Haupt)

From left to right: Bec Mitchell, Anna Froneberger, and Emily Haupt, all first year veterinary students from North Carolina State University (Images courtesy of Emily Haupt)

My time at the conference was packed full of networking and educational opportunities which aided in my professional growth. I visited numerous vendor booths to learn more about their companies, services provided, and externships that they offered to veterinary students, which I found to be very helpful. I enjoyed speaking with the representatives of these companies as we have learned about many of them in school and I’ve also seen their products while working in clinical practices.

I also attended a handful of lectures that were of special interest to me, including anesthesia for cardiac patients, feline dermatology, and laser therapy. One particularly impactful lecture that I attended was a presentation by Quincy Hawley, DVM, co-founder of GetMotiVETed, about burnout preparedness in the veterinary profession. Advocating for mental health within our field is close to my heart and something that I am very happy to see being discussed in a more mainstream manner to ultimately improve the career that I and my fellow future doctors are about to enter.

To be a more active participant while at the conference, I had the pleasure of being a moderator for a lecture on dental extractions. I stood up at the podium in front of the attendees in the lecture to briefly introduce myself and then the speaker. I thought that this was a unique experience to represent myself as a veterinary student and NCSU as a whole, which opened up conversations afterwards with veterinarians across the country who were interested in how I got involved with the conference and impressed that I was getting this exposure so early on.

One of the highlights of my experience was attending a suture lab where I received hands-on instruction of various suture patterns and then practice it on model skin. After the lab, I spoke with the representative for the lab’s sponsor, PRN Pharmacal, who ended up gifting our group practice sets and suture to take home.

Suture practice on a model skin pad during a suture lab

Suture practice on a model skin pad during a suture lab

Besides the conference itself, I felt completely spoiled by dvm360. I had the opportunity to spend time more personal time with them in a variety of settings, like going go-karting and visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum. It was fantastic to be so supported by leaders in the veterinary profession and feel that we are being enthusiastically invested in.

The view inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame Industry Partner Reception

The view inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame Industry Partner Reception

One of the final experiences I had at the conference was listening to Temple Grandin, PhD, MS, and Marty Becker, DVM, speak about the importance of looking after the emotional wellbeing of animals under veterinary care. I have learned about both of their efforts in implementing “Fear Free” strategies with a variety of species throughout my undergraduate degree in Animal Science and during my time so far as a veterinary student. It was an honor to be able to be in attendance.

I am profoundly grateful to VBMA and dvm360 for providing this experience. Fetch Charlotte was an exceptional platform for networking with distinguished leaders within the veterinary field in a well-organized, approachable way. I felt a renewed sense of passion for this career after attending and am thrilled that I have the privilege of joining this deeply rewarding field!

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