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Navajo Nation Veterinary Externships




​Dr. ​Danielle Frey
Director of International Student Experiences

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​A partnership with Navajo Technical University (NTU) Veterinary Teaching Hospital allows CSU DVM students from all years to participate in community clinics and outreach programs providing equine primary care and small ruminant herd health. 

Equine Clinics with NTU

This high volume rural medicine experience provides CSU DVM students with the opportunity to provide routine equine care in low resource areas. Students are able to learn about rural medicine approaches to quality equine care, working alongside NTU and CSU veterinary faculty, and veterinary technician students at a reputable program, close location to Colorado. This high volume experience with routine care helps students feel prepared to practice upon graduation. This opportunity includes experience with all skills involved in annual equine evaluations including but not limited to; examination, consult, vaccinations, dental care, client communication and horse handling. In the past, these clinics have seen and treated 40-50 horses per day.

Who can participate: This is available for fourth year DVM students at CSU.

Trip timing: April.

Application: Students may apply via online application in thee fall of the third year. Watch email for additional information.

Length of trip: Seven (7) days.

Cost to student: Some meals. The College and NTU fund airfare, ground transportation and lodging costs.

Location of experience: Crownpoint, New Mexico and Kayenta, Arizona.

Small Ruminant Herd Health with NTU

This is a herd health experience working with goat and sheep herds on the Navajo Nation. Veterinary students work alongside veterinary technician students and university and government veterinarians to provide routine care for small ruminants. Experiences include all skills involved in annual herd evaluations including but not limited to; handling, vaccine administration, placing ear tags, parasite control, performing rectal biopsies for the scrapie surveillance program, client communication, safety, teamwork, medication use, withdrawal assessments, and creating producer relationships. The teams work with up to 3,000 animals in a three-week time frame.

Who can participate: This is available for students of all levels at CSU and University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Trip Timing: July.

When to Apply: The online application process occurs in fall. Please watch your email for information about the process.

Length of trip: 2-3 weeks.

Cost to student: Some meals. The College and NTU fund airfare, ground transportation and lodging costs.

Location of Experience: Students will visit farms in Arizona and New Mexico that are clients of the veterinarians at NTU in Crownpoint, New Mexico.

Student Testimonials

"Participating in the NTU Herd Health program has been one of the best experiences I have had in veterinary school. I got to work with an amazing team of veterinarians, students, and community members to vaccinate, deworm, and scrapies test thousands of sheep and goats. I now feel very comfortable handling and treating small ruminants, which has been invaluable on other clinical rotations. More importantly, I learned about how veterinary medicine can serve communities through collaboration and communication. I want spend my career working in the way we did at the NTU Herd Health program."

- Claire Tucker DVM Candidate Class of 2019

"The NTU Herd Health Opportunity was a chance to gain exceptional hands-on experience working with sheep and goats to practice vaccinations, deworming, and performing rectal biopsies for Scrapie surveillance. Due to my availability to stay for the third week, as well as an unfortunate illness spreading through the NTU herd, I was also able to assist with a field necropsy, dehorning, hoof trims, and full medical work-ups consisting of physical exams, diagnostic testing, and treatment. The externship was also an opportunity to collaborate with an outstanding team made up of Dr. Daye and NTU students, USDA Veterinary Services, and New Mexico State Livestock Board veterinarians to provide vital assistance to underserved Navajo communities. I enjoyed learning more about Navajo culture and values and interacting with the locals by attending the Crownpoint fair and rodeo, 4H events, Texas-two step concert, flea market, and powwow."

- Taylor Karlin, DVM Candidate class of 2020

Veterinary Science Camp for Native American Students at Monument Valley High School AgriScience Center

The week-long camp is a veterinary educational exchange program that brings together interested high school students, veterinary students, veterinary professionals, and community members with their animals. Throughout the week, the high school participants engage in hands-on workshops about common animal care techniques, providing a basic understanding of veterinary medicine and proper animal husbandry. Led by hosting educators, veterinary students, and veterinarians alike, these workshops allow students to assist veterinary professionals in treating the community members' animals. For the CSU veterinary students, it provides immersive opportunities to learn-by-teaching and learn-by-doing, all while meeting the needs of the community and training the next generation of animal caretakers.

Who can participate: This is available for all DVM students at CSU and University of Alaska Fairbanks.

When is the trip: June.

Application: The application process occurs in the spring. Watch your email for additional information.

Trip timing: 5-7 days.

Cost to student: Some meals. The College and the AgriScience Center fund airfare, ground transportation and lodging costs.

Location of Experience: Kayenta, Arizona

Individual Externships Available

Students can contact Dr. Danielle Frey to organize an individual experience working with rural veterinarians at Navajo Technical University. These veterinarians are mixed animal practitioners who see a high volume load of a variety of cases and also work with the local zoo.

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