When it opens in June, the new Veterinary Diagnostic Center on East Campus will provide improved laboratory services for veterinarians and others who care for animals, and it will also enhance the learning experiences of students in the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine.
Because students in this rigorous program are in school six to eight hours a day and have to study beyond that, they will have card access to the student-designated spaces in the new center 24 hours a day.
"We are providing the best acoustical, visual and comfortable space for students that we can," said Dr. Alan Doster, center director.
Each laboratory will have a teaching component, and students will see what diagnosticians see on a daily basis. "We give students hands-on, practical real-life experiences," Doster said. "We show them what they are going to see as veterinarians right away."
The Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine is a cooperative agreement between the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Iowa State University. Students selected for the program attend two years of Professional Veterinary School at Nebraska before transferring to ISU to complete the final two years of their DVM degree, which includes the clinical aspects of their training.
Two Nebraska students who completed the Nebraska portion of the program graduated No. 1 and No. 2 at ISU last May. They were tied. "In the past seven years, the Nebraska program has always had a significant number of graduates in the top 10 at ISU, which is really amazing considering the few number of Nebraska students in the program as compared to the total number of students," Doster said.
"We take pride that we're getting really, really good students, and I think we're giving them a very good education," he said. "What we hear from our ISU colleagues is that they are well-trained, extremely polite and they dress professionally when they arrive at Ames to complete their final two years of study."
The new Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center will continue to do research. It also will continue to offer necropsy, histopathology, virology, bacteriology, serology, toxicology and limited clinical pathology services. But the increased space and new state-of-the art equipment, such as the new MALDI-TOF technology, will enable the center to more quickly and accurately diagnose bacterial pathogens.
About 75 percent of the center's caseload is related to cattle, but "you never know what's going to walk in the door," said Dr. Alan Doster, center director.
"We know that in the future the technology will be different. We've tried to design the facility with the idea that the technology eventually will have to be upgraded and we will be able to accommodate the needs of our clientele as knowledge and technology continue to evolve," he added.