My week with FARVets at Coco’s Animal Welfare in Mexico was nothing short of amazing. The Mexican veterinarians who taught us were both talented and patient, and the group of students and Dr. Emerson were a pleasure to work with. I not only greatly improved my surgical skills, but also gained a new appreciation for different techniques that can be used in surgery, especially in a low-cost, high-volume environment. Aside from all this, the trip was simply a lot of fun. I would not hesitate to recommend a FARVets trip to any veterinary student who wants to gain experience in surgery and learn about veterinary medicine abroad.
Cornell DVM Class of 2019
As a pre-vet student, my tasks were mainly to make sure all of the patients had a smooth recovery. This meant I spent a lot of time with the owners of MAOW, the organization we were working with, and I was able to practice Spanish to communicate with owners while the vet students were busy in surgery. On my trip I learned a lot about basic care and monitoring from both Dr. Maza and the vet students on the trip. Many of the vet students went out of their way to teach me sutures and hand ties, and gave me an idea of what life as a Cornell vet student is like. Being a part of my FARVets trip not only gave me experience working with small animals in a foreign country, but it also gave me valuable connections with the other trip members.
Cornell DVM Class of 2017
Having never been to Central America before, FARVets provided me with not only the opportunity to provide basic veterinary care to an underserved area but also an experience to become immersed in a foreign culture. This trip has taught me how adversity can be overcome with fortitude, diligence, and teamwork. Overall, I've gained technical, leadership, and collaborative skills that will benefit me throughout the rest of veterinary school and my career to come.
Cornell DVM Class of 2015
Immersion in a different culture and socioeconomic situation demonstrated to me that there are challenges to practicing veterinary medicine in another country - language barriers and availability of medicine, supplies, and diagnostics - but these experiences can widen our perspectives and provide us with opportunities to help.
Cornell DVM Class of 2016
I enjoyed the challenge of having to try and converse in Spanish. The experience definitely makes me want to practice my Spanish a lot more so as to improve. The immersion in the different cultural and socioeconomic environment made me realize how a veterinarian must be adaptable to their surroundings, especially when immersed in another country. By this I mean, we did not have all the resources that we normally would have in the U.S. but that did not stop us from practicing good veterinary medicine. This experience has made me interested in doing more service trips with complete immersion in the future.
Cornell DVM Class of 2016
The cultural and language differences made it difficult to gather complete histories and communicate our treatment plans thoroughly. The socioeconomic differences interfered with the normal course of action we would take at Cornell. Immersion in these differences taught us how to practice veterinary medicine in complex situations and still have effective outcomes.
Cornell DVM Class of 2013
We had the rare experience tackling these challenges of efficiency, teamwork, and communication under the pressures of a language barrier, different standards of care than we were used to, and an overwhelming need for our presence. Throughout the trip many of us strayed out of our comfort zones to a degree that helped us return to the states a week later with a bit more skill and worldliness.