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Fish have really caught on with Stephen Reichley, DVM Class of 2013. Reichley has developed a special interest in aquatic veterinary medicine which deals with health-related issues affecting fish. Fourth-year veterinary students at Ohio State have the chance to explore individualized “Career Areas of Emphasis” during 14 to 16 weeks of their clinical rotations. While still tied to his long-time interest in small animal care, Reichley’s nontraditional study focus has taken him around the world to gain clinical experience. He published an article about his work in the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association Aquatic Vet News, 2012 third quarter issue.
Reichley’s article recounts his varied experiences in internships and externships. The first half of his clinical year was spent in externships related to fish health in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and Idaho, with future work planned in Florida and Maryland.
Earlier internships were similarly focused. As an intern for the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Aquaculture Department, he visited fish farmers around the state. At the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Mississippi, he worked in the Aquatic Diagnostic Lab. At the Department of Fish and Game in Idaho, he traveled more than 9,000 miles with a fish pathologist for disease surveillance and diagnostic work linked to salmon spawning and trout hatcheries.
In a program unique to Ohio State, all veterinary students choose their fourth-year “Career Areas of Emphasis” rotations from five major areas: small animal, equine, food animal, mixed animal, or individualized. An individualized topic might be as highly specific as Reichley’s, or it could include a broader interest area such as biomedical research, pathology, regulatory medicine, or public health. Such focused experiences give students hands-on experience to help drive their career choices.
Reichley is fascinated with the wide variety of options he already has encountered in aquatic veterinary medicine, as he prepares to make that the focus of his career after graduation in May 2013.
This article was reproduced with the permission of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association. For more information about aquatic veterinary medicine, go to wavma.org.