SOS Cornell Student Teaching Program

Principal Investigator: Brian Collins

Co-PI: Leslie Appel, Leni K. Kaplan

Department of Clinical Sciences
Sponsor: John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation
Title: SOS Cornell Student Teaching Program
Project Amount: $23,000
Project Period: January 2018 to December 2018

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

Providing practical, experiential primary care learning opportunities for students is a principal objective of the Community Practice Service (CPS) at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. In an effort to procure additional surgical experience for clinical year veterinary students, in June 2009 Cornell created a collaborative relationship with Shelter Outreach Services (SOS), a non-profit organization that provides low cost surgical sterilization services to cats and dogs in our region. By utilizing the system refined by Shelter Outreach Services, we have been able to provide a popular and effective high-quality surgical learning experience for veterinary students outside of the academic setting. The SOS-Cornell Student Teaching Program’s objectives include: enhancing the hands-on clinical and surgical experiences of Cornell veterinary students; providing an affordable resource for our regional shelters, 501c(3) local feline rescue organizations, and low income community members to have their cats spayed and neutered; augmenting student training for private practice and shelter medicine; exposing students to safe management of feral cats; and raising student awareness of and contribution to controlling pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering feral and barn cat colonies. This program has proven itself to be sustainable in terms of funding and has been an educational success as evidenced by the observed improvement in student surgical skills and positive testimonials from DVMs, veterinary students, and shelter personnel.