Straight talk

Recent graduates give AASV feedback

AASV members who graduated between the years 2001 and 2007 were randomly selected for anonymous feedback. They were asked what activities are beneficial to them, what other activities could the AASV do that would increase its membership value to recent graduates, what is their overall impression of the AASV, and did their perceptions of AASV change from when they were students to recent graduates. Below are their responses.

“The assumptions that I had of the AASV as a student did not change once I got into practice. I think this was due to my experiences during internships and hands-on training with Dr Brad Thacker while I was a veterinary student. I think today’s veterinary students interested in swine medicine will be successful if they spend time in swine veterinary practices, and get as much hands-on training as possible. Because I was involved in the student chapter of AASV, I felt that I had a good understanding of the AASV’s role in the swine industry, and my perception of the AASV did not change once I was in practice.

I really enjoy reading JSHAP when I have time. Any networking opportunities that AASV provides are helpful in developing young practicing swine veterinarians. I think AASV does a fantastic job of providing us with those opportunities, and the AASV members are very easy to get to know and talk to.”

“The AASV did a good job of introducing me into the profession. As a student, I found that AASV members were very approachable and helpful to students. The reality of practice I encountered was not significantly different from the perception I had as a student. I credit some of this to the AASV in the forms of the annual meeting and the Journal of Swine Health and Production. Since graduation, I have found the AASV to be a worthwhile organization. The annual meeting is always a highlight. I find 75% of the meeting topics to be relevant and important. I have not attended the June workshops. The e-Letter is a good source of information. I read it weekly. The online directory is also a resource I use frequently.”

“Being a swine veterinarian confirmed my impression as a student that swine veterinarians were professional, caring folks who have a unique opportunity to make a big difference in pork production. To help students during the transition from school to practice, AASV should continue existing programs and encourage students to spend time in the field and to attend AASV meetings. I know some universities have not made it a priority to allow students to attend AASV. I think it is very important for AASV to support students as they seek permission from their universities to come to the meetings.

I continue to be impressed with the dedication and commitment of AASV. The case-based presentations on disease and production management are always great, and the creative ways that information is shared are also interesting.”

“Swine practice is exactly what I thought it would be. The best thing AASV can continue to do is help foster student-
practitioner networking. The student reception at AASV is always a great place do this. The AASV should continue to express the importance of this to practitioners to ensure they attend. My experiences with practitioners on my externships and internships were what prepared me most for private practice. Also, the scholarship AASV offers to students for externships is great. The AASV should continue to do the student seminar … that was always helpful.

My perception of AASV has changed in that I felt more tied to the AASV and truly appreciated AASV being there for me when I was a student. Now, I continue to rely on it as a practitioner.

The annual meeting continues to be one of the most beneficial programs AASV puts together. I learn just as much now as I did when I was a student. I am going to attend the Advanced Techniques wet lab this summer, and look forward to that experience. Continuing to provide these opportunities to members is a great way to continue education and build our network. JSHAP continues to be very beneficial.

The AASV should continue to encourage new graduates to get involved in committees. I was involved this year, and it helped me build my network. The AASV should continue to allow students multiple opportunities at the annual meeting to either present, do a poster, or do a podcast. I did a presentation and am now involved in the podcasts, and both things are very beneficial to students. Being involved in the student presentations was a great way for me to network and get my name out there.

I know some drug companies are already doing this, but it might be nice to have something through AASV for a young-new swine veterinarian network. We could meet at the annual meeting for lunch and this would be a good way to involve new graduates.”

“Someone told me a saying once that the pigs are easy, it’s the people that can sometimes be difficult, and you sometimes encounter that. It can be very important to visit with a person face-to-face versus over an e-mail or herd report. If a person can’t read your body language and tone of voice, they may interpret your meaning differently than intended. Effective communication is the key to a good working relationship with a client.

AASP versus AASV: it seems that the AASV is changing from an association of private swine practitioners to become an association and meeting involving increasing numbers of foreign, corporate, and industry veterinarians (changing with the industry). As a private practitioner, I enjoy listening to different approaches to controlling diseases such as PRRS, circovirus, SIV, F18 E coli, and ileitis. As the dynamics of the membership change and the audience at AASV events changes, I worry that practitioners will not feel comfortable openly discussing all the different approaches to disease control, as they have in the past.

I enjoy the annual meeting and the workshops, the meeting at World Pork Expo, and JSHAP. I have not been able to make it to the Practice Tips in Ames, but feel it is a nice addition to AASV events.”

“Yes, my impression of practice changed once I graduated. It is more time-intensive than students think. Most of the time that is not accounted for is in the office or on the road. The AASV can help by encouraging more hands-on mentorships.

My impression of the AASV did not change when I graduated, but it did strengthen my belief that AASV is a close, hardworking, and student-friendly group.

The types of AASV programs that are beneficial to me are the annual meeting, JSHAP, World Pork Expo, AASV Update, and summer labs. Not currently available, but something that would help students, is a quarterly Web meeting for interested students.”

“I believe that the best way to understand the realities of the ‘real world’ is to go out and experience it first hand through summer internships and ride-alongs with practicing veterinarians. I was comfortable with the realities of swine medicine because of my many mentors who have been and continue to be instrumental in AASV and in my life. I feel the most important objective of the AASV in readying veterinary students for work in the area of swine medicine is to continue to establish and foster the student-practicing veterinarian relationship through externship-internship experiences.

I was unfortunately not an active member of AASV upon graduation. I have gained nothing but respect for the organization since that time, due to its open format that allows all ideas to be expressed, which allows this small group to have tremendous diversity and relevance to the veterinary and food-animal professions.

The annual meeting, JSHAP, and the ASSV e-Letter are tremendously beneficial to me. I have no other requests at this time, but I am confident that if a need arises, the association will be quick to respond.”

--Tracy Ann Raef