Wildlife Medicine + Conservation
Updated: Mar 15
Block 4: Wildlife Medicine + Conservation
Block 4 sent me back to my favorite place in the world, South Africa. Many of you followed my experiences in South Africa last summer where I spent 2 weeks on the VetX program. I had such an amazing time, that I knew I wanted to come back during clinics and get more hands-on experience and work with more of the South African wildlife. I applied for an off-campus block elective to gain more hands-on experience with wildlife medicine and conservation since my current university does not offer any equivalent courses.
My experience this time around was amazing but different than last summer. Since I was on my own, I had the opportunity to work alongside the veterinarian’s one-on-one which allowed me to do more and learn more. I worked primarily with antelope species and buffalo. As always, wildlife medicine is unpredictable, so you never know what’s going to need veterinary attention once you get there. I also had the opportunity to work on the conservation side of wildlife medicine. This allowed me to get more insight and experience on what it takes to protect many of the endangered animals.
If you are seeking a veterinary experience in South Africa, I highly recommend booking through Umkhondo Big 5 Volunteers. They host amazing programs for veterinarians, vet students, and vet nurses. I personally would recommend doing the VetX program as it allows you to participate in lectures, wet labs, game captures, darting, and so much more. If you are wanting to do a 4th year rotation in South Africa this could be a potential option but keep in mind that depending on the time of year, the amount of work might be more scarce.
Have questions? Feel free to drop your comments below!