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Davis or Tufts or ...? for wildlife

skunkmama92

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I'm currently applying to Tufts, UC Davis, Minnesota, Oregon, Western, and Wisconsin. I was hoping that anyone (alumni or current students) could let me know their personal thoughts on the wildlife/zoological/exotics programs? I've heard that Wisconsin and UC Davis have great wildlife programs, but I'm struggling to find information on their websites. Currently Tufts is my #1 for wildlife and conservation medicine.

Also I was hoping anyone who went to these schools could also share what they like most about the program/school, and what they liked least?

Currently the most advice I'm receiving is to go to whichever school is cheapest. Do you agree?

Thanks!!
 
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MixedAnimals77

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Currently the most advice I'm receiving is to go to whichever school is cheapest. Do you agree?

Thanks!!
I can't comment on the specific schools you're asking, but pretty much everyone agrees-go to your cheapest option unless some extraordinary circumstance ie parent dying. There's a huge difference between 100k vs 200k in debt. Even just a difference in 10k makes a huge difference. Some will argue x amount of money is worth it to go to your "dream" school but in reality you'll never 100% know if you'd be happy in a program until you go through it. IMO at the end of the day it's 4 years vs 10-30 years of debt that impacts every decision you make from getting a new car, buying a house, to getting married and having kids. I take it you're very interested in wildlife/conservation med which doesn't pay great to begin with so lower debts are even more important. What is most important is no matter where you go make opportunities for yourself and network. Tagging some people for their schools

@PippyPony Tufts, @johnsmith123 Oregon, @supershorty Minnesota, @Coopah Davis
 
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PippyPony

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Tufts is the bomb for wildlife & conservation med!

Our ZCAM (exotics) department is small but super busy.

Not as much in terms of opportunities on the zoo med front.

If you search for previous discussions on this, you'll find some detailed responses -- it's a question that comes up pretty frequently.
 
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PippyPony

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I can't comment on the specific schools you're asking, but pretty much everyone agrees-go to your cheapest option unless some extraordinary circumstance ie parent dying. There's a huge difference between 100k vs 200k in debt. Even just a difference in 10k makes a huge difference. Some will argue x amount of money is worth it to go to your "dream" school but in reality you'll never 100% know if you'd be happy in a program until you go through it. IMO at the end of the day it's 4 years vs 10-30 years of debt that impacts every decision you make from getting a new car, buying a house, to getting married and having kids. I take it you're very interested in wildlife/conservation med which doesn't pay great to begin with so lower debts are even more important. What is most important is no matter where you go make opportunities for yourself and network. Tagging some people for their schools
This is not necessarily true if you are looking for a specific program like this. For example, we have a master's program for conservation medicine and it's very common for people to combine the MCM + DVM and do 5 years here (or more if they add on a PhD)
 
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skunkmama92

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Jul 2, 2020
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This is not necessarily true if you are looking for a specific program like this. For example, we have a master's program for conservation medicine and it's very common for people to combine the MCM + DVM and do 5 years here (or more if they add on a PhD)
Ah yes! This is exactly what I was thinking! I just finished my Masters in Biology, but I would absolutely love to combine the MCM and DVM. This and their Wildlife and Conservation Medicine Program are some of the top reasons that I want to go here. Which is why I was hoping for comparisons between the other schools.

I'm also in-state already, but Tufts in-state isn't much cheaper than their out-of-state, like other schools is. So that's why I'm wondering if other schools would be better to go to even though the have the lesser program option.
 
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MixedAnimals77

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This is not necessarily true if you are looking for a specific program like this. For example, we have a master's program for conservation medicine and it's very common for people to combine the MCM + DVM and do 5 years here (or more if they add on a PhD)
Didn't even know this was a thing so good to know!
 
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Coopah

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I can't comment on the specific schools you're asking, but pretty much everyone agrees-go to your cheapest option unless some extraordinary circumstance ie parent dying. There's a huge difference between 100k vs 200k in debt. Even just a difference in 10k makes a huge difference. Some will argue x amount of money is worth it to go to your "dream" school but in reality you'll never 100% know if you'd be happy in a program until you go through it. IMO at the end of the day it's 4 years vs 10-30 years of debt that impacts every decision you make from getting a new car, buying a house, to getting married and having kids. I take it you're very interested in wildlife/conservation med which doesn't pay great to begin with so lower debts are even more important. What is most important is no matter where you go make opportunities for yourself and network. Tagging some people for their schools

@PippyPony Tufts, @johnsmith123 Oregon, @supershorty Minnesota, @Coopah Davis
Thanks for the tag!
I'm currently applying to Tufts, UC Davis, Minnesota, Oregon, Western, and Wisconsin. I was hoping that anyone (alumni or current students) could let me know their personal thoughts on the wildlife/zoological/exotics programs? I've heard that Wisconsin and UC Davis have great wildlife programs, but I'm struggling to find information on their websites. Currently Tufts is my #1 for wildlife and conservation medicine.

Also I was hoping anyone who went to these schools could also share what they like most about the program/school, and what they liked least?

Currently the most advice I'm receiving is to go to whichever school is cheapest. Do you agree?

Thanks!!
I'm not really involved in our wildlife program however I know it's awesome. We have a lot of opportunities here and the people I know in the program love it. I would recommend talking to the people in charge of the program itself to get the best idea.

Since Davis has IS tuition after the first year it's usually a good price for people in our circumstances. I would highly recommend deciding on cost first but looks like that's already been covered.

Good luck!
 
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supershorty

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Going to the least expensive school is definitely your best option.

I'm not a zoo/exotics person so I'm going to tag @SnowJ for help, but at MN, we do not have an exotics department within the hospital. We have a raptor center on campus and you can do rotations there as a 4th year (and volunteer there before that!), and we have a number of zoo electives that you can take starting as early as first year. SnowJ would be able to talk more about those than I can; I only took 1 and decided exotics were really not my thing! We have a required course on pocket exotics that has a handling lab, which is really fun, and I think maybe in some of the zoo electives, you get to watch procedures on the zoo animals that are brought to campus for procedures (generally only surgeries come in, I think - I know in the last few years we've had a tiger, an orangutan, a sea turtle, and a sea lion on campus that I knew of, there were probably more).

Campus is also quite close to the Wildlife Rehab Center of Minnesota, which sees an enormous number of cases each year, takes DVM student volunteers, and I think is an option for rotations as well.

I've very much enjoyed my time at MN, the faculty, and the curriculum, but it is an expensive option for OOS. It's theoretically possible to change residency, but the whole process changed a year or 2 ago and it's not run by the College of Vet Med, it's by the university as a whole, and my weak understanding of it is that it's quite difficult to change now. However as an IS student, I don't really know and I usually encourage people to contact Violeta Bonneville in our admissions department with questions about that.
 
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SnowJ

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Going to the least expensive school is definitely your best option.

I'm not a zoo/exotics person so I'm going to tag @SnowJ for help, but at MN, we do not have an exotics department within the hospital. We have a raptor center on campus and you can do rotations there as a 4th year (and volunteer there before that!), and we have a number of zoo electives that you can take starting as early as first year. SnowJ would be able to talk more about those than I can; I only took 1 and decided exotics were really not my thing! We have a required course on pocket exotics that has a handling lab, which is really fun, and I think maybe in some of the zoo electives, you get to watch procedures on the zoo animals that are brought to campus for procedures (generally only surgeries come in, I think - I know in the last few years we've had a tiger, an orangutan, a sea turtle, and a sea lion on campus that I knew of, there were probably more).

Campus is also quite close to the Wildlife Rehab Center of Minnesota, which sees an enormous number of cases each year, takes DVM student volunteers, and I think is an option for rotations as well.

I've very much enjoyed my time at MN, the faculty, and the curriculum, but it is an expensive option for OOS. It's theoretically possible to change residency, but the whole process changed a year or 2 ago and it's not run by the College of Vet Med, it's by the university as a whole, and my weak understanding of it is that it's quite difficult to change now. However as an IS student, I don't really know and I usually encourage people to contact Violeta Bonneville in our admissions department with questions about that.
Sorry I havent been online in a while. supershorty's description of our wildlife/exotics is correct; we have an intro to non-domestic vet med elective fall of first year, followed by topics in zoo medicine elective in spring; this is the one where you get to see procedures in-hospital and go to the zoos in the area to help with procedures. We also have zoo/wildlife necropsy rounds as an elective starting spring of first year and you can take that every semester after if you want (there's a lottery because its limited entry, so its offered many times). That class is super fun because it is actually rounds with vets from the MN zoo, raptor center, and wildlife rehab, as well as the state-level vets who work with things like CWD in deer. 4th year there's an exotics necropsy rotation. There's also the zoo/avian/exotics/wildlife club which hosts lectures and labs.
The wildlife rehab center is an excellent opportunity to volunteer and get hands-on experience. The raptor center is as well but I think they have a waiting list for volunteers because it's so popular.
I will second supershorty; the faculty and curriculum is generally fantastic but it is very expensive. Your best experiences to get into wildlife/exotics will not necessarily be at school, it will be where you work/volunteer/research/intern, so which specific school you attend will probably have a lot of the same potential for you. You can always look for interested faculty and network that way,
 
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