MONTANA students now have the opportunity to enroll in the first state-centered veterinary medicine program being offered in cooperation with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University (WSU).
The Montana Legislature and Gov. Steve Bullock approved the creation of and funding for the Montana Cooperative Veterinary Medicine Program during the 2013 legislative session. Students can apply online at https://portal.vmcas.org through Oct. 2. Classes will begin in August 2014.
Rebecca Mattix, a Montana State University teaching professor and pre-veterinary adviser, said applicants should apply to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine as Montana residents. A supplemental application will then ask detailed questions about pursuing admission through the program.
Ten Montana students will be chosen to participate, Mattix said. She added that the admissions committee — made up of Montana State and WSU faculty and representatives from the Montana veterinary and livestock industries — will identify students who have strong ties to Montana and want to work in food animal medicine and other areas of emphasis across the veterinary profession.
Acceptance to the Montana Cooperative Veterinary Medicine Program provides students with the opportunity to continue their education in Montana while establishing linkages with the Montana veterinary profession far earlier than what could be done if they attend an out-of-state school, Mattix said.
Students will take their first year of classes on the Montana State campus in Bozeman, Mont. Students will then go to Pullman, Wash., where the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine is located. During the summer, they will have opportunities to work in Montana veterinary practices.
Mark Jutila, a veterinary immunologist at Montana State, said the new program will build on long-standing research collaborations in animal health between the two universities. It also will be supported by new, state-of-the-art animal facilities, including Montana State's Animal Bioscience Building and containment laboratories that offer training in biosafety-related issues associated with infection in livestock, people, wildlife and other animals.
The Montana Cooperative Veterinary Medicine Program is modeled after the WWAMI Medical Education Program, which has provided competitive medical training for more than 40 years. The WWAMI program allows students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho to enroll in the University of Washington Medical School and take their first year of classes in their home state.