For students, the choice to enter into a biomedical field is often because of their desire to connect with people – to make a difference in the lives of patients. For students in the Masters of Biomedical Sciences program, the opportunity to directly impact the lives of people in the community is now a reality – even before they become licensed practitioners. The Colorado State University sponsored non-profit program, Pets Forever, is adding a new graduate level course specifically designed for students in the Department of Biomedical Sciences’ professional masters program.
Pets Forever pairs CSU students with low-income elderly and disabled Larimer County residents to support their ownership of their pets for as long as possible. Students commit to spending four hours per week outside of the classroom to improve the health and well-being of these pets and owners by providing needed help and resources.
The new graduate course, VS795T, gives MS-B students the opportunity for problem-based learning in real life. The course format will replicate rounds discussions they might experience later on in professional school and beyond.
Drs. Lori Kogan (Clinical Sciences), Christianne Magee (Biomedical Sciences), and Melinda Frye (Biomedical Sciences) will team teach the class, each bringing their unique strengths to the weekly discussions.
“Our focus will be breaking it down to the fundamentals so the students’ other curriculum is being adapted into the class discussions,” said Dr. Magee. “The experience really touches on skills students need to be a successful vet or medical school applicant – service, communication, community giving.”
A service course centered around a program like Pets Forever is unique to CSU. When students are put in real-world situations with real people, benefits extend beyond the knowledge and experience gained through the curriculum.
“Students love the overall class experience, but report that the biggest rewards are the relationships they build with the clients,” said Dr. Kogan. “Clients often become surrogate grandparents for the students, and the students realize that something as small as walking someone’s dog makes a tremendous difference in people’s lives.”
Enrollment for VS795T is still open for fall. Contact Dr. Lori Kogan with questions or if you are interested in the undergraduate version of the Pets Forever program.