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Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Excellence for the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) is defined as having positive impacts on Texas and society through benefitting animal, human, and ecosystem health, economic well-being, and educational advancement.

These impacts are achieved through:

1. Production of graduates who achieve excellence themselves as they contribute to society.

2. Creation, translation, and application of new knowledge.

3. Distribution and sharing of knowledge within the scientific community and the public.

As the only college of veterinary medicine in the State of Texas, the greatest impact of our educational program is the production of:

  • Well-trained, clinically competent, highly competitive veterinarians.
  • Biomedical science students well-prepared for professional or graduate education.
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with solid training for academic and research careers.
  • Residents seeking board certification as veterinary specialists.

For more detailed information about our impacts on teaching, research, service, development, and continuing education, visit http://vetmed.tamu.edu/critical-stats.

Veterinary medicine is critical to the Texas economy. State-of-the-art specialty hospitals provide pets and their owners with superior care. The nation’s largest livestock and equine industries are protected. Texas is served through governmental, academic, industrial, and military roles in private, industrial, and government practice. The economic impact of veterinary medicine in the State of Texas was estimated to be $1.72 billion in 2003 (please see the TVMA/CVM report located at http://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/press-releases/economic-impact-report). This figure does not take into account the enormous economic impact resulting from healthier animals, people, and the environment.

Professional DVM Program

Our DVM program has graduated 7,197 DVMs (approximately 130 veterinarians per year) who provide care to animals belonging to the citizens of the State of Texas and beyond. They help protect both animal and human health. They are the first line of defense in recognizing major disease outbreaks and agents used in biological terrorism or warfare. Veterinarians are small business owners who support the economy of Texas by borrowing, building, and hiring for their private practices both in large metropolitan areas and in small rural communities.

In 2011, our scholarship support exceeded $1M, which averaged ~20% of our student tuition costs. There were 146 endowed scholarships from an endowment corpus of $13,440,338. Every eligible DVM student received a scholarship.

Our veterinary student graduation rate remains at 98%. These graduates consistently maintain greater than a 95% pass rate for the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, one of the highest in the nation. Their pass rate for State of Texas Boards is consistently greater than a 98%, also one of the highest in the nation.

Historically, the employment percentage of our professional program graduates has been exceptionally high. While our graduates choose from a variety of career paths within the profession, many enter much-needed rural practice and large animal practice positions, as well as large animal internship programs.

Our DVM graduates achieve notable success throughout the profession. They are leaders and assume prominent leadership roles, such as deans of colleges of veterinary medicine and presidents of national organizations. Five Aggie graduates are past-presidents of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Graduate Degree Programs/Post-Graduate Training Programs

Our CVM graduate program enables biomedical scientists and veterinarians to gain research experience leading to MS and PhD degrees. Graduates enter careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, state and federal research institutions, and private industry.

Our post-graduate training programs include internships and residencies for graduate veterinarians who wish to become veterinary specialists in disciplines like surgery, medicine, reproduction, anesthesiology, cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, and more. Our residents have a very high rate of success in fulfilling the stringent requirements for specialty board certification; in fact, their pass rate is one of the highest for residents nationally. As a result, specialists trained at Texas A&M not only become academic clinicians at universities, but also go to communities throughout Texas to provide highly specialized care close to home for animal owners. Additionally, our graduate students and residents are highly sought by the pharmaceutical industry, diagnostic laboratories, and research institutions.

Undergraduate Biomedical Sciences Program

Our Biomedical Sciences Program (BIMS) is a unique educational program for undergraduate students seeking careers in one of the health care professions, including veterinary medicine, human medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy, or in biomedical research. BIMS students make up a large portion of students admitted to Texas medical, dental, and veterinary schools. In 2009, about 9% of students admitted to Texas medical schools came from BIMS, along with 17% and 31% of those admitted to dental and veterinary schools, respectively. The BIMS program attracts a diverse student body, about 35% of which is nonwhite (mostly Hispanic) and 30% of which is the first generation in college.

CVM Research

Excellence in research at the CVM is partly evident from the millions of dollars in extramural funding obtained annually from highly competitive funding agencies by faculty members, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. For example, our faculty members recently were awarded $14 million from USDA-AFRI; they are lead investigators on the $9.2 million animal health grant and are key participants in the $5 million feed-efficiency grant. Similarly, the CVM investigators have obtained significant NIH, USDA, NSF, and Department of Defense, as well as Texas funding. In the past, CVM researchers in the Center of Rural and Environmental Health attracted the only NIH Center Grant in the history of Texas A&M. Another important measure of research excellence is reflected in publication of research in internationally reputed journals in veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences. Some of this work has been featured on the cover of the most highly respected journals, like Nature, Science, Genomics, and Genome Research. At the last International Symposium on Equine Reproduction, 23% of the presentations were from the CVM.

We have defined research signature programs for areas of eminence, such as genomics, reproduction, toxicology, cancer, cardiovascular sciences, neuroscience, environmental health, infectious disease and biodefense. Our research improves disease resistance in animals, increases their productivity, and enhances reproductive ability. It develops cures for human and animal diseases, including cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and reproductive diseases. Recent examples of success include: (1) new strategies for treatment of endometriosis, the most common cause of infertility in women (US Patent Application 20100249125); (2) cloning of 6 animal species (deer, cat, cow, horse, pig, and goat) to aid in conservation of species; (3) deciphering of complete genetic material from three major mammalian groups (horse, bovine, and marsupial) to study important diseases and traits; (4) innovative approaches to reduce global impact of costly human diseases in third world countries; and (5) creation of a food and feed additive to protect humans and animals from deadly toxins produced by molds on grain (US Patents Nos. 5,178,832 and 5,165,946).

Additionally, the CVM is home to a variety of unique research institutes, like The Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices, the largest single undergraduate research opportunity on the Texas A&M campus.

Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at the CVM has a long and distinguished history of serving Texans and their animals. The hospital plays a vital role in the College's mission to graduate the highest quality, career-ready general practitioners. The VMTH consists of a Large Animal Hospital, a Small Animal Hospital, diagnostic support laboratories, and an Ambulatory Service that provides veterinary services to ranches and other animal facilities across the State.

The DVM Professional Veterinary Students spend their 4th and final year in the VMTH gaining hands-on experience under the direction of clinical faculty. Our students have the privilege of learning from direct contact with internationally renowned faculty.

The VMTH was the first teaching hospital to receive the prestigious American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Referral Practice Accreditation. The VMTH belongs to this select group of veterinary practices that are committed to meeting the highest of standards in veterinary medicine. Annually, AAHA accredited hospitals pass stringent evaluation of standards covering patient care, client service, pain management, and medical protocols.

The VMTH has an operating budget of over $14 million. It generates 85% of this budget from client revenue and receives 15% budgetary support from the State. Leveraging this state support, the VMTH has more than doubled its client revenue over the past 10 years. These funds are used to ensure a modern, state-of-the art hospital that is a real-life teaching laboratory for students and at the same time serves Texans and their animals. This critical revenue provides funding for new equipment and facilities; for example, a unique Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center will open in September 2011. The $11 million, 9,000 square foot facility will house MRI, CT, and TomoTherapy equipment which rivals that in human hospitals.

The VMTH has a unique relationship with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) by providing veterinary care to its large numbers of horses, cattle, swine, dogs, and poultry. This partnership provides exceptional teaching opportunities in population medicine and herd health management for some of our DVM students, while saving Texas taxpayer dollars for healthcare of these animals. The VMTH also collaborates with Blinn College in a two-year Veterinary Technology Program. Second-year students receive much of their clinical education in the VMTH. Students who successfully complete the curriculum will be eligible to sit for national (VTNE) and state (Texas RVT examination) credentialing examinations to become Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT). This program provides an excellent career path and job opportunities for Texans. Just as nurses and nurse practitioners do for the medical profession, veterinary technicians expand the scope and reach of veterinary care.

CVM Service

We provide a comprehensive referral facility for the veterinarians and citizens of the State of Texas for management of large animals, small animals, and zoological species with complex medical problems. In recent years, the VMTH has served animals referred from approximately 2,500 veterinarians in 164 Texas counties and from 36 states outside of Texas. Last year, the VMTH received over 20,000 client visits and provided care for over 84,000 animals. We also provide diagnostic testing for patients with gastrointestinal disease through the GI Lab. Approximately 1200 submissions come through the GI Lab each month from veterinarians throughout Texas, the United States, and the world. Our Texas Veterinary Renal Pathology Service is recognized internationally as the pre-eminent provider of state-of-art pathology for animal patients with kidney disease. It is the lead diagnostic pathology center for the WSAVA Renal Standardization Study, which impacts the diagnosis and treatment of canine glomerular disease world-wide.

Our Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) participates with Texas Task Force 1 and the Texas Animal Health Commission to provide a resource for emergency management in Texas and beyond. The CVM partners with multiple non-profit community animal welfare and sheltering agencies in Texas to provide spay/neuter surgeries and primary care for more than 4000 animals each year. In addition to the medical and surgical animal care experiences, the students gain an appreciation for the role of shelters in communities. They also learn the value of community service.

Our PEER Program (Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health) provides state outreach to K-12, with emphasis on rural middle schools, to stimulate interest in science and technology. To date scientists have visited over 35,000 Texas students and 1,750 Texas teachers have incorporated PEER materials into their classrooms. International programs include an active exchange program for students and faculty in a number of countries around the world. "AuthorAID" is an international outreach program which helps researchers in developing countries write journal articles that could be accepted into major peer-reviewed biomedical journals.