VCA Valley Animal Hospital works to get students interested in veterinary medicine

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – VCA Valley Animal Hospital is partnering with the organization Vet Set Go in hopes of getting children interested in caring for animals to combat the workforce shortage.

Between January 2019 and May 2021, the American Veterinary Medical Association reported 18 positions open for every veterinarian seeking a job. An increase in people adopting pets during the pandemic didn’t help the workforce shortage.

Vet Set Go targets students from elementary to high school, giving them opportunities to learn and work alongside veterinarians across the country. Timbrala Marshall, director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity for VCA Animal Hospitals, said the organization could be the long-term solution.

“The students have actual veterinary students, doctors and veterinary technicians to help train them and see what the life of a veterinarian is. It’s pretty exciting for these young people because they’ve dreamed about this and now they actually get to do it,” Marshall said. “We know this won’t change that need we have overnight, but we believe this is that first step into really creating a pathway.”

Through Vet Set Go, students can apply for scholarships to summer camp at Auburn University or take online courses to receive a Veterinary Shadowing Certificate. Marshall said that early education in the industry can help set students ahead in future schooling opportunities.

“What we’re trying to do with this partnership through VCA with Vet Set Go, is create these opportunities for younger students because most veterinarians decide they want to be veterinarians at a young age,” Marshall said.

Through the website, you can search for learning and shadowing opportunities throughout the state. Here at home, Reid Park Zoo is currently taking applications for a Zoo Crew.

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