Dr. Ricardo Videla, a farm animal internal medicine specialist at the Charles and Julie Wharton Large Animal Hospital at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, is working to improve care for animals in his home country of Argentina. He created VetMed for All and is taking a group of veterinary students on an externship to provide veterinary services to vulnerable rural communities in Argentina.
Dr. Videla answered a few questions for us about VetMed for All.
What is VetMed for all?
We are veterinarians from The University of Tennessee and Argentina, working together to provide free veterinary services to vulnerable rural communities in Argentina
What is access to veterinary care like in this region of Argentina?
There is only one veterinarian, Dr. Crisitina, in the region. She is amazing but there is only so much a person can do. Access to veterinary care is very limited and inaccessible to many due to a lack of resources.
Why is it important to have better care?
Veterinary care is important to improve animal welfare. Also, animal health is associated with human health as some conditions can be transferred from animals to people. As for the farm animals, providing veterinary services can also help decrease losses and improve food production.
Why did you create this externship?
I am very grateful for the veterinary training that I obtained in the US. I am originally from Argentina, I have good connections there, and I felt the need to do something to give back.
What will the students get out of it?
The students and all participants will benefit from a rich intercultural exchange, they will be able to learn to practice VetMed with limited resources and be more prepared to provide veterinary services to underserved populations.