Veterinary student from China shares his experience as AVMA extern

By: Yi Ding, extern, AVMA Scientific Activities Division

Veterinary student from China shares his experience as AVMA extern My name is Yi Ding, and I’m a Chinese student in the U.S.-China joint DVM program, which is sponsored by Kansas State University, the China Scholarship Council, International Veterinary Collaboration for China (IVCC) and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association. I’m studying veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota. I am very lucky to have the chance to do my externship in the Scientific Activities Division at AVMA’s headquarters.

I was born in Wuhan, Hubei Province. It is the ninth largest city in China, with more than 10 million people. My father is a veterinarian in China, so I have had a lot of chances to be around animals and made up my mind to be a veterinarian when I was a child. After my undergraduate study in China, I joined the U.S.-China joint DVM education program to continue my veterinary education in the United States.

I learned of the AVMA headquarters externship through the director of the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health at Kansas State University. It is a great opportunity for me as an international student to know how AVMA works with regulators, those involved in veterinary education, and others to advance the profession. I hope that my externship experience in the AVMA’s headquarters can be brought back to China and help the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association to improve the veterinary education and profession there.

The agricultural and food industry is rapidly developing in China. However, even though veterinarians belong to one of the important professions that support these industries, the profession was under-valued before. As a consequence, the absence of veterinarians’ involvement in public health and food safety led to many issues, such as clenbuterol contamination and a melamine scandal. Also, the veterinary education in China is not able to satisfy the needs of the current agricultural industry.

In addition, due to today’s trends of globalization, I realized that diseases from one country would rapidly spread all over the world, as we see in the spread of SARS and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. More collaboration between veterinarians from China and the U.S. can help better control these diseases and help us deal any other future challenges. I hope that my education in both the U.S. and China could be helpful for communication and cooperation between Chinese and American veterinarians in the future.


4 thoughts on “Veterinary student from China shares his experience as AVMA extern

  1. Hi YI, How does the veterinary education not fullfill the needs of the Ag industry in China? Numbers? Too rapid Ag growth? Technology deficiency?–Thianks, Clarence Binninger DVM

    • Hi, Clarence,

      Sorry for not reply sooner, I now finished my externship in AVMA. In China, there is only undergraduate level of education for veterinary medicine. Most vet student does not learn enough to be a vet. I had bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine in China, but I don’t feel I am able to treat animals. Veterinary medicine degree in China is like a combination of biology, veterinary science, and veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine is a traditionally under-valued profession in China. The Ag industry is growing, there are some giant livestock companies in China, but vet’s value are still not recognized and not paid well. I think partly because veterinarians in China can not solve the problems due to not enough training in the vet school. I hope the above can answer your question.

  2. Interesting to learn about an Eastern perspective of the profession. China isn’t really powerhouse in terms of animal care and rights (in stray dogs, not sure about the animals in the agricultural sector), but I’m sure Yi will be working on changing that in the future!

    • Hi, Hailey, Thank you very much. There are still a lot of room for improvement in terms of animal care and animal rights in China. We are learning from other countries, especially U.S. . Giving enough time, I am sure it will getting better in the future.