Partnering with UMN School of Medicine to teach global health initiatives using animal anatomy

March 28, 2022
SAVMA Anatomy lab veterinary and medical faculty, staff, and students

On Friday, March 11, 2022, the College of Veterinary Medicine hosted the first in what will hopefully become an annual special Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) symposium. The aim of this event was for UMN medical and veterinary students to act as peer educators to teach veterinary students from across the United States about the comparative anatomy of the heart and lungs in humans, cattle, equids (horse, mule), and carnivores (cat, dog). Presenters discussed clinically relevant topics like pneumonia, heart murmurs, bypass, COPD, heart valve replacement, and many others.

VBS Assistant Professor Roxanne Larsen envisioned and mobilized this pioneering UMN event, setting the groundwork for future collaborations. VBS’s Marc Schwabenlander and ASA’s Hannah Gytri helped organize the veterinary portion of the lab. The CVM team worked together with Mercedes Gutierrez (UMN Medical School) and other medical school faculty and staff to launch this highly successful first annual event. The lab activities encompassed the ideals and values of Interprofessional Education (IPE) and One Health education – bringing together health professionals to highlight the connectedness of humans, animals, and the environment in consideration of global health and medicine. Larsen adds, "Our DVM student instructors made our college proud and were inspiring in their abilities to engage and educate." Feedback following this event was positive and students remarked they 'were excited them about learning animal anatomy' and 'collaborating with professionals in the medical school.'

(Pictured above: Veterinary and medical faculty, staff, and students involved in leading the comparative anatomy lab. Photo courtesy of Marc Schwabenlander.)