RAVS trips

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10+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2008
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I was searching through the archives and found some info from vet students and pre-vets who went on RAVS trips, but was hoping for some more info on the types of responsibilities you are given as a pre-vet student.

I was considering applying for 2 trips this summer in North Dakota. The first week would be equine and the second would be small animal. Since I currently volunteer at a low cost spay/neuter clinic I can mostly guess what the small animal week would be like, but I have no idea about the equine week.

Anybody have any experiences on RAVS trips they would like to share? Small animal or equine?

I gather from the old threads I found that I should be applying ASAP, but the trips are mostly still listed as open right now. I am a little on the fence since I was sort of offered a paying job as an assistant at the spay/neuter clinic for next summer. When I mentioned that I was thinking about doing some RAVS trips the vet's response was that it would mean 2 less weeks I could work for them! I think they would still hire me, but I'm not sure what would be more valuable in terms of experience. Since I am so short on experience and even shorter on available hours in the week during the school year, I am really hoping to add some great experiences this summer. Even if you haven't been on a RAVS trip, I'm open to opinions on what the best use of my time would be or other summer only type opportunities.



15+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2003
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Hi there,

I've been on 2 RAVS trips: one in 2006 and one in the summer of 2007.

RAVS is definitely a place where you absorb a lot of information quickly. I agree that it is helpful to have a grasp of the expectations, before you go. It is important to read the material they want you to know. If you are worried that you might be missing something important, ask about it before taking the assessment exam.

When I went on my first trip, I had very little experience. I had a bunch of shadowing and volunteering, though. I learned more in one week than the 5 years of shadowing and volunteering preceding it.

It is definitely stressful, and the days are long. However, they stuff you with good food that is available from breakfast until… usually about 10:30pm, and you get to interact with people from the community.

The question that you have to ask yourself about the equine clinic is, "Are people going to have to hold my hand?" Have you had enough experience with horses to be helpful to the vets and technicians? Can you read body language? Do you know where to stand and where not to stand? If you feel you will be helpful, then absolutely go. If not, you may be doing a lot of reception area work. There

I don’t think there is another experience comparable to a RAVS trip. You just have to go to see how awesome they are first hand. The staff members are some of the best people I’ve ever met. They totally rock. Not in a “I know I rock” way, though. No, I’m not getting paid to say this. :rolleyes: