So what's the student perspective? "We have 30 students sponsored for the dental short course that will take place October
12, 2012," says Patrick First, a veterinary student and AAEP student chapter member at Mississippi State University College
of Veterinary Medicine. The course will be a collaboration of the local dental club of 10 members and 20 AAEP student chapter
members. The course will be held over one weekend, including a Friday lecture on oral anatomy and dental procedures, with
most of Saturday consisting of a wet lab using cadaver heads and Sunday using live horses on which various dental procedures
will be performed.
"We should have a pretty good turnout," First says. Although at press time student signups were incomplete for this year's
course, two years ago the course had an excellent response. "My fiancée, a senior now, mentioned that she was very pleased
by the course and got a lot out of it," First says. "She said it was very helpful, so we decided to do it again. We're all
looking forward to it."
For First, equine medicine is his emphasis since he has trained horses and given riding lessons. "Horses have always been
my passion," First says. "I got involved with the AAEP chapter organization through veterinary student friends my freshman
year. We did a few things, held our own dental wet lab, though not as organized as the short course we're doing this year.
I got real excited about that. I then worked with veterinarians doing dentals. Equine dentistry is just something that interests
me, and I got to know several other AAEP students with a strong interest in equine dentistry, so that fostered our interest
in getting this course done this year."
The dental short course was recently completed at the University of California-Davis (UC Davis) in August. The focus was on
oral examinations and pathology. Most of the lecture material was based on practical dentistry, as well as some common pathology
and instrumentation. Because of some difficulties, the students did not have a chance to work with live animals at this particular
session. The course included about 14 students with one AAEP veterinarian, an ideal number of students to instruct.
"This was the first time that UC Davis used the cadaver head, which was very helpful," says Tyler Newton, a UC Davis veterinary
student and AAEP student chapter co-president. "The students definitely enjoyed the cadaver head portion, as they did not
have to worry about the horse at all—getting bit or kicked or the horse moving its head in opposition to the oral exam procedures.
"All in all, the coursework was very good," Newton continues. "The materials were good as provided, and the knowledge that
the students gained was very positive. We cover a lot of material as part of our equine track, and the hands-on experience
of the short course was definitely worth it. It's kind of a nice supplement to our curriculum."