By: Yi Ding, extern, AVMA Scientific Activities Division
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.