MU vet student takes first in contest

Monday, April 11, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:31 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What is the most common radiographic finding with discospondolitis?

Name the two most common deficiencies diagnosed in avian medicine.

What are three effects of the sympathetic nervous system on the body?

The answers to these questions might be over many people’s heads, but for MU senior Joanna Buckley, they are common knowledge.

Buckley won first place in the Nestlé-Purina Veterinary College Challenge, a part of the North American Veterinary Conference recently in Orlando, Fla. Buckley competed against 25 students representing colleges from across the United States and Canada. This is the first year a U.S. student has won first place.

“It was an excellent experience,” Buckley said. “The student representatives were all very friendly and supportive. There was never a feeling of competition, just fun.”

The competition had five rounds of multiple-choice questions. Questions came from categories including critical care, anatomy, pathology, internal medicine, exotic animals and surgery. Competitors advanced based on the number of questions they answered correctly.

“I also owe a lot of my success to MU,” she said. “At MU, veterinary students are given two years of clinical experience. At other schools, students usually only receive one year. Every question that I answered correctly was because I could relate it to a patient I had.”

Buckley received $3,000 for her first-place finish. The Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the organization that sponsored Buckley, also was given $3,000.

So far, Buckley’s favorite subjects in veterinary medicine are small animal surgery and internal medicine. She is in her last year of the four-year program and will graduate in May. She will then go on to serve three years as a veterinarian with the Army.

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