Students who graduate from the region's high schools now have another opportunity to fulfill their dreams. The newest veterinary school has opened to its first class at Lincoln Memorial University.
There are only 30 veterinary schools in the country, which makes it even harder for students to get into. For LMU, being new has its advantages, especially for those in the Appalachian Region.
Lincoln Memorial University welcomes its first class to its new veterinary college. 30 percent of the first class are from the Appalachian Region. A new opportunity for some of the students. "LMU is offering something that most people that are from this area couldn't have a chance to pursue unless they wanted to move to either Knoxville or Blacksburg. The program is a little bit different than both of those places," says Travis Gilmer from Scott County, Virginia.
Classes are smaller and they're getting some hands on experience their first week at a growing clinical facility just across the Tennessee line in Lee County, Virginia.
The state of the art facility has offered an economic boost the both the county and the new students. A lot of the class work is much the same as is offered in the medical school. "We have to learn so many more animals and more systems, and yes a dog is like a cat, but a cat is not a small dog. There are differences in anatomy, the physiology, the pharmacology," Julie White from Kingsport, Tennessee said.
Being a new program the school is offering a chance for hands on experience and that's appreciated by the students. "It's a whole lot more clinical hands on experience than some other vet schools get this early in the curriculum. It will help us just be prepared to deal with animals in general. you can have the book smarts you want but if you don't have the knowledge and how to apply it in real life, you're up the creek without a paddle," Taylor Calebs from London, Kentucky said.
For the school, it's just the beginning with chances for research and even more graduates in the future.