Clubs and Organizations

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The Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) was created in 1969 as the national organization of veterinary students, which enables the 35 individual Student Chapters representing over 15,000 veterinary student members and associate members to function effectively as a single unit on the national level. The University of Tennessee SAVMA Chapter acts as a link between the university and the AVMA, making available the many programs and opportunities this organization has to offer. All students currently enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine are encouraged to become members and add another dimension to their professional education. SAVMA members receive reduced subscription rates to the Journal of the AVMA and the American Journal of Veterinary Research, free advanced registration to the AVMA Annual Convention, access to the AVMA Veterinary Career Center, as well as insurance benefits. Members in good standing for all four years of veterinary school are granted automatic conversion to AVMA membership upon graduation. In addition to national representation, UT’s SAVMA provides a forum for its members to interact on a professional and social level, and to learn the medical ethics, conduct, and benefits of organized veterinary medicine. The UT SAVMA’s monthly meetings of their Executive Board and Council representing each veterinary club at UTCVM provide an opportunity for students from all four classes/years to meet and interact. SAVMA organizes dances and parties during the year and sponsors many college–wide events. SAVMA is dedicated to promoting friendly relations among students and between students, faculty, and the professional community. To join SAVMA, a student can come to a meeting and pay dues or contact his or her student SAVMA representative. SAVMA Class Representatives act as a liaison between classes, SAVMA, and the college and serve on the SAVMA Executive Board. They also collect membership dues and keep the Office of Educational Enhancement informed of SAVMA activities and actions that concern the college, etc. Time commitment – variable, with some positions being moderate to considerable.

The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) is the national certifying organization for veterinary specialists in large and small animal internal medicine, cardiology, neurology, and oncology. Joining a student chapter of ACVIM is beneficial to those who plan to pursue board certification after graduation, as well as those who wish to work in a general practice setting. The student chapter organizes monthly educational lunch meetings with board-certified speakers in a variety of specialties, as well as holds an annual wet lab for students to gain more hands-on experience with different diagnostic techniques.

AWE provides a forum for students with an interest in all aspects of avian, wildlife, pocket pet, reptile, and zoo medicine. Throughout the year, the organization offers lunchtime lectures, speakers for general SAVMA meetings, and opportunities for hands-on experience. It also provides a list of externships in exotic animal medicine.

Christian Veterinary Fellowship (CVF) is a Christ-centered group that focuses on service. As a club, they meet every Monday during lunch and either have a speaker or hold a Bible study. Outside of that time, the mission is to serve the students, faculty, and community. Some of these services include sending encouraging notes before exams, providing free meals to faculty and students, and serving communities within and outside of the United States that need veterinary assistance such as rural Kentucky, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

The Companion Animal Club (CAC) is an organization for veterinary students who are interested in all things companion animal. The main focus is on canines and felines. Every month the club hosts lunch meetings with guest speakers from the university or other clinics. Once a semester the club hosts a wet lab for members to gain hands-on experience in specific fields of companion animal medicine.

The Food Animal Club (FAC) is an organization for students who are interested in production medicine of cattle, swine, camelids, small ruminants, and poultry. They hold monthly lunch meetings with speakers and/or case presentations relating to these species, as well as perform hospital case rounds every Wednesday during the lunch hour. They also participate in national organizations such as the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and try to send students to these conferences each year. The club typically conducts a wet lab symposium one weekend during the academic year so that students can gain hands-on experience in several different aspects of production medicine. The club usually does several wet labs outside of their symposium. These range from palpation and feet trimming, to handling and calf processing labs.

IVSA/VPH is designed for students with an interest in international veterinary medicine. They provide an extensive list of international contacts for externship and volunteer opportunities, work with the international organization in assistance of student exchange programs, coordinate lunch lectures exhibiting a variety of world experiences, and plan a big social mixer every semester to build upon the school’s natural cultural diversity. Every year, IVSA also offers a travel scholarship for 1–2 students performing veterinary services abroad!

UTCVM’s Latinx Veterinary Medicine chapter is an inclusive chapter open to all veterinary students, including but not limited to persons that identify as Latinx and their allies. We strive to fill a gap in the veterinary community by providing a place for Latinx students to network, learn, grow, and mentor each other. The members of this chapter will have benefits via the national LVMA chapter such as a national network of Latinx veterinarians and the opportunity for scholarships. Monthly meetings will be held with knowledgeable speakers from many backgrounds. This chapter is perfect for any and all veterinary students looking for a sense of community and a place to learn more about the Latinx heritage.

Pathology is the study of the origin and processes of diseases, from the cellular and physiologic level to the whole animal. Pathology is exciting because it unifies all aspects of medicine. Pathologists study all diseases: infectious, neoplastic, metabolic, inflammatory, or otherwise… and study all species and organ systems, from cardiology to neurology to dermatology and more. Pathology is fascinating, pathology is important, and pathology is beautiful! The Pathology Club at UTCVM stimulates student interest in clinical and anatomic pathology. It offers many fun activities and great ways to get involved!

The Shelter Medicine Club is open to all veterinary students, especially those who are interested in small animal medicine, spay and neuter surgery, and animal sheltering issues. We are a chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, which means that students can apply for scholarships to attend national conferences and other national opportunities through our club. The club works closely with the Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee helping them with fundraising for their projects and educating the general public about animal shelters and spay/neuter at the UTCVM Open House every year. Each year a wet lab is organized for members of the club to learn high quality, high-volume spay/neuter methods. In the spring, a fundraiser is held to sell personalized lab coats and scrubs for students, faculty, and staff at discounted prices, and the proceeds are donated to animal shelters. Every month a lunch meeting is held with a variety of speakers talking about various issues in shelter medicine.

SAAVN is the student chapter at UTCVM that represents AAVN, the American Academy for Veterinary Nutrition. The objectives of SAAVN are to promote more interest and better understand animal nutrition as it relates to disease and health, facilitate research towards those fields, promote closer cooperation between veterinarians and others well-educated in nutrition’s role in animal health, and finally to provide a forum and exchange of information for common interests in the field of nutrition in its relationship to animal health.

SCAAEP provides opportunities for students interested in equine medicine and surgery. The club offers lunch and dinner meetings with a variety of equine-related lecture topics throughout the year. Wet labs for each class year, as well as an AAEP-sponsored lab are organized for students. Additional opportunities include attending conventions, volunteering at nearby equine events, and other ideas members may have that pertain to their particular interest area in equine practice.

The Student Chapter of the National Association of Black Veterinarians is an organization focused on advocating and supporting Black students in veterinary medicine as well as cultivating community and inclusivity at every level of the profession.

The SVECCS is a student-run organization that was re-introduced to the university in 2013 after a hiatus. We are a chapter of the national organization VECCS. The purpose of this club is to promote the education and involvement of veterinary students in all aspects of emergency and critical care medicine. The club has informative lunch meetings with doctors in the emergency/critical care field, promotes involvement by allowing students to volunteer in the critical care unit throughout the semester, and holds wet labs.

The Surgery Club allows students to gain more exposure to small animal, equine, and production animal surgery. Activities include lunchtime guest speakers, hands on laboratories, and shadowing opportunities.

The Theriogenology Club serves as a way for members to gain experience in theriogenology of various species. Guest speakers and wet labs provide insight, information, and training in all aspects of this facet of veterinary medicine, including artificial insemination, embryo transfer, gestational management, parturition assistance, common reproductive problems and diseases, pregnancy detection, estrus synchronization, etc. Students with interest in both small and large animal theriogenology are given the opportunity to learn more about these topics in their fields of interest. Lunch meetings are held monthly, and there is normally a wet lab for students each semester, along with various events coordinated with Food Animal Club, Wildlife and Exotics, and SCAAEP at UTCVM.

VOICE is a student-run organization that seeks to increase awareness and respect to differences among all individuals and communities in the field of veterinary medicine. VOICE also aims to celebrate diversity within our profession, to encourage campus environments that embrace diversity and promote the success of all students, and to emphasize the importance of cross-cultural awareness in veterinary medicine in order to meet the needs of our diversifying clientele. Lastly, in order to ensure a more diverse future for veterinary medicine, VOICE chapters provide leadership and mentorship to youth, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, who are interested in careers as veterinarians. Come celebrate the beauty of diversity, and build a stronger veterinary community!

The Veterinary Anatomy Club (VAC) is a student-driven club tailored to providing opportunities for veterinary students with topics explored within and outside of the first year Anatomy course to continue the pursuit of knowledge in animal anatomy.

VBMA is a student-driven organization dedicated to advancing the profession through increasing business knowledge, creating networking opportunities, and empowering students to achieve their personal and professional goals. VBMA aims to expand student awareness and knowledge by scheduling speakers for meetings and organizing seminars to cover relevant topics to veterinary practice that lie outside the current veterinary medical curriculum. By networking with professionals within and outside our discipline involved with business management, finance, leadership, marketing, law, and communication, VBMA ensures quality and relevant information for students in the way of financial affairs, entry into the job market, personal management skills, and opportunities that are available to persons with a DVM degree. VBMA also offers a nationally recognized Business Certificate Program as an additional membership to those willing to participate that consists of attending meetings for an allocated total of business education hours. Completion of the program then rewards students with validation by certification to present to future employers for increased hire-ability, not to mention in the process, giving each individual more opportunity for priceless networking with peers and professionals in the industry, and a more successful future in our profession.