Extramural studies at Cornell inspire veterinary students

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EMS students

Donations for One Health initiative enhance learning experience.

EMS Students
Tse Ming-yi, Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
Joey Lam, Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine

Tse Ming-yi’s love for animals was limited to pets like cats and dogs before an exchange at Cornell University in the US which encouraged her to rethink her career plans. 

Tse Ming-yi is a Year 3 student of Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) at CityU’s Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences (JCC).

Tse Ming-yi
Tse Ming-yi

The six-year bachelor’s programme is the first veterinary programme in Hong Kong to provide comprehensive, evidence-based veterinary education with particular emphasis on emerging infectious diseases, food safety, animal welfare and aquatic animal health.

As part of her studies at JCC, Tse Ming-yi attended a five-week extramural studies (EMS) rotation at Cornell in the summer of 2018. There, she had the opportunity to apply classroom learning at equestrian centres and dairy farms.

“My plan had been to become a small-animal veterinarian and I looked forward to the heart-warming process of delivering baby kittens and puppies. At Cornell, however, I saw new-born calves and ponies learning to stand and walk the moment they left their mother’s wombs. Their strength and tenacity moved me deeply,” she said.

Her most memorable moment came when she helped to deliver a calf that was in the wrong position shortly before birth. While the veterinarian-in-charge was making the cow lie on her side, Tse Ming-yi and her classmates helped to stabilise the cow.

“I’d learned about delivering calves in school, but I hadn’t realised how useful this knowledge would be until I gloved up and reached inside the cow to fix the problem,” she said.

This was a defining experience for Tse Ming-yi. “It made me realise that being a large-animal veterinarian may be a good option, too!” she said.

Joey Lam, a Year 3 BVM student, said the EMS at Cornell was the most memorable experience of her undergraduate experience to date. “At the farms, we had to do everything on our own, dealing with birthing, ageing, sickness and death. The rotation helped us cultivate the right attitude towards animals, which is very important for aspiring veterinarians,” she said.

Joey Lam (1st from left) learns how to take care of goats at the farm at Cornell University.
Joey Lam (1st from left) learns how to take care of goats at the farm at Cornell University.

The tuition for the overseas EMS rotation is not cheap, and what’s more, students need to shoulder high transportation and accommodation costs. Luckily, generous support offered by donors, for example the donations designated to the EMS from Mr Kwok Ming-cheung, Dr Edwin Lam Chi-wan and Mr Philip Lau Sak-hong, eases the students’ huge burden and helps them pursue their dreams.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to our generous donors who lent their support to the establishment of the JCC and helped to provide the best faculty and teaching facilities, especially the donors for enabling the rewarding EMS rotation at Cornell,” Joey said.

The generosity of our donors is taking students to new heights.


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