University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine
With 130 years of educating veterinarians in the State of Pennsylvania, Dean Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, Ph.D, explained that, “we’re the only school that gives a [Veterinary Medicines Directorate].”
Selecting only 125 students out of 1,400 applicants, UPenn’s School of Veterinary Medicine provides its students and patients with continually upgraded treatment and research facilities. This academic excellence has led to over 7,160 graduates in the School of Veterinary’s existence.
UPenn is consistently expanding their degree programs for future enrollees. Hendricks mentioned their VMD/Ph.D program, which has received consistent funding from the National Institutes of Health for approximately the past 45 years. Along with the dual VMD/MDA program, “we’re about to launch a health law certificate, with the law school,” he said.
“We built a major new critical care facility for equine, with a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010,” Hendricks explained. Improving on the already “best in class, state-of-the-art facility at our Bolton Campus,” UPenn expanded it with their latest additions. “It has a wing for suspect animals with colic, and mares with colts. It [also] has a wing for animals that are known to be shedding infectious disease, especially Salmonella,” Hendricks said.
Adding to the 700-acre Chester County, Penn-based facility, which already treats 33,000 horse and livestock patients annually, according to its website, Hendricks highlighted some recent additions. “Since there’s a camera on the animals all the time, people don’t have to go in just to do respiratory checks. There’s not as much foot traffic and people handling the horses. So, they don’t walk in and out and track diseases. It reduces the amount of time touching them and tracking diseases in and out, which is ideal."
UPenn’s OneHeath initiative is very important to the school’s identity. Hendricks explained that “virtually everything we do at Penn is linked to the medical school and human health.”
One of UPenn’s latest research projects includes their new Center for Host Microbial Interactions. “The best thing we’ve done is to launch a new host microbial interaction center,” Hendricks explained. “That is a huge, new initiative that will allow us to analyze big data sets and look at the really complex interactions among all the micro-flora.”
In October 2013, UPenn had five initial research projects being funded by the center, including: canine and human dermatology studies; the connection between bovine diet, health and food production; how the brain development of offspring is impacted by their mother’s stress; how stem cell growth may influence colon cancer growth and how diet and antibiotics may offset horse digestive health.
At A Glance
Location: Kennett Square, Pa. and Philadelphia, Pa.
Programs: VMD, VMD/Ph.D., VDM/MBA, Internships, Residencies
Distinguished alumnus: Ralph L. Brinster, VMD, PHD