Fall 2016

We’re on the Move

140723_12687_kochevar066.jpgTen years ago this month I arrived at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine as the fourth dean, following Al Jonas, Frank Loew and Phil Kosch. Green pastures and well-tended farm animals surrounded busy hospitals and clinics, research laboratories and learning spaces filled with energetic and talented students, staff and faculty.

Over the past decade, our 594-acre campus has been improved substantially, with the addition of the Agnes Varis Campus Center and Auditorium and construction of the New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory; the founding of the Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic in Worcester, Massachusetts; the creation of the Cummings Support Center to address the health and well-being of our students; the installation of two solar energy fields; the expansion and renovation of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, which will be completed by year’s end; and the recent groundbreaking for the Equine Sports Medicine Complex.

But it is the people of Cummings who are our greatest resource—the exceptional students, interns and residents who come here for a top-flight education delivered by our dedicated faculty and staff and our generous alumni, donors and friends who support their work and our mission.

In this issue, five fourth-year students offer some candid observations about challenges they have faced during their clinical training. These first-person essays resonate with their joy about learning to become veterinarians.

Our research enterprise continues to flourish. Our largest program, infectious
disease, has remained a go-to for organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, Gates Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development for expertise on food- and waterborne diseases and other global health threats. Regenerative medicine is becoming increasingly important, especially for our clinician-scientists, as we make advances in stem cell therapies.

The One Health concept—which links the well-being of humans, animals and the environment—has gone from a tagline to reality with our work in comparative oncology and partnerships with our colleagues at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts School of Medicine. We’ll do more collaborative work in other areas, as we tackle the diseases that afflict both humans and animals.

In a time of particularly contentious political discourse we continue to be a community that is welcoming and supportive of students, faculty and staff from different ethnic, economic, geographic and life experiences. Our students established the Tufts Veterinary Council on Diversity two years ago, and this year the group will expand to include faculty and staff. Our students have led the way in demonstrating the importance of diversity.

We have every reason to be thankful for and optimistic about our profession and our country. I am privileged and proud to serve Cummings School and Tufts.

Deborah Turner Kochevar, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Top Stories

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A new world-class sports medicine complex at Cummings School keeps equine athletes at the top of their game

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We asked five students from Cummings School’s Class of 2017 to tell us about the excitement, anxiety and pride of beginning their clinical rotations

Under Pressure

The first mental health survey of U.S. veterinarians paints a sobering picture: One in six has contemplated suicide. Why are these healers feeling so desperate? And what’s being done to help care for them?

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Betting the Farm

Fifty years ago, there were 1,600 dairy farms in Connecticut. Today there are 120. Those that remain are in a constant struggle for survival. Here’s the story of how one family farm, now in its fourth generation, is fighting to innovate and grow with the help of a Cummings School vet

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All dogs and cats are at risk for inherited health problems. Understanding them can benefit animal and human health

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Wildlife veterinarians work with their African partners to protect the endangered animals