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Friday, March 5, 2010

Volunteers Needed!

Richard, a veterinary student from Ross University, sends in this email....

First off, thank you for taking the time to read my email. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and not only do I enjoy seeing the practitioner's side of some issues, it is a great example of how to communicate with the public at large. I know that you encourage questions from your readers, and you may be able to help me with a little dilemma I have. I need to build a portfolio of case studies for my pharmacology class. The idea is to put together short videos of a variety of cases, before and after medical treatments, along with some basic information about the medications they received. Then I have to provide a narration discussing the method of action, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, etc. based on lecture material. Where I find myself in a bind is that our teaching hospital does not permit photography of any kind inside the facility. I understand where they're coming from, and it is an interesting discussion for another day, but it leaves me in a bit of a bind. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Would any of your clients be interested in volunteering their animals, anonymously of course, to help a student?

Richard, I'll certainly try to help here. This is an official shout-out to my readers around the world. If anybody is interested in helping out, please email me ( and I'll pass on the information to Richard (I don't want to share personal emails in a public forum). This may be a way to get a bunch of cases together in a way that you couldn't otherwise do, and will go beyond my own clientele. If you're on VIN (Veterinary Information Network) I would recommend seeking the help of other vets there, as you'll find a wide spectrum of people.

I remember having to do projects when I was in school, though nothing so fancy. My senior project was on Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach and implicated as a causative agent in stomach ulcers. In some parts of the world it's a major health concern, and it's found in the stomachs of some animals (ferrets carry it, and are used in research on this organism). My presentation was one of my first forays into PowerPoint, and I was so excited that I found a small animation of Helicobacter moving. This was back in '97, so I was pretty proud of my computer skills. And I actually won an award for that presentation.

Richard, I hope this may help a little, and maybe I can send some interesting cases your way!