AVMA governmental relations externs are hard at work

It’s springtime in Washington, which means Congress is in full swing – and so is the AVMA Governmental Relations Externship Program. From March to October, our 2017 externs will each spend four weeks with the AVMA Governmental Relations Division (GRD) in Washington, getting hands-on experience in policymaking and using their veterinary knowledge to influence important public debates.

This year is already shaping up to be a great one for participants in the externship program.

On March 6, the AVMA welcomed our first two 2017 externs: Kyle Ruedinger, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine; and Brianna Parsons, a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Each had a packed schedule during their four-week stay in Washington. They met with veterinarians working in federal government, attended congressional hearings, and even met with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss AVMA’s legislative priorities. Somehow, despite all that hard work, they even had a chance to explore many of Washington’s cultural opportunities.

“The externship has been an incredible opportunity to spend an extended time period in D.C., meet many new people including veterinarians who work for the public good at the federal level, and also to work with the AVMA GRD to advocate for our profession,” said Ruedinger.

Extern Patricia Crystal managed to find cows – well, a cow statue – even in the busy Washington neighborhood of Georgetown.

Extern Patricia Crystal managed to find cows – well, a cow statue – even in the busy Washington neighborhood of Georgetown.

Now, a new set of externs has joined the AVMA in Washington: Margaret Chu, a student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine; and Patricia Crystal, a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. They’ve been working hard and staying busy with meetings, networking events and sightseeing.

We’re looking forward to hosting our remaining six externs between now and October:

  • Erin Holt, University of Tennessee
  • Kerri Haider, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Merrill Simpson, Colorado State University
  • Jacob Froehlich, Tufts University
  • Derecka Alexander, Louisiana State University
  • Matthew Kuhn, Michigan State University

Ruedinger says he would recommend the Governmental Relations Externship Program to any veterinary student. “This is a fantastic opportunity to have an externship outside of a hospital and explore other potential career paths within the veterinary profession,” he said.

We can’t wait to see what else our externs do during their time in Washington and as they continue their careers. If you’re a student interested in applying to the Governmental Relations Externship Program, we encourage you to learn more about the program and how to apply. The AVMA also has other student externship opportunities you might want to consider.

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