Study Abroad Trip Gives Students Global Perspective on Veterinary Pathology
When it comes to effective learning, Dr. Tiffany Lyle, a faculty member in Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Comparative Pathobiology, knows the power of global engagement for veterinary students. So, she developed an innovative program to link travel and the study of veterinary pathology.
Board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Dr. Lyle serves as assistant professor of veterinary anatomic pathology. She is passionate about her field of expertise and the importance of educating the next generation of veterinary pathologists. That’s why she arranged a study abroad trip to Tokyo, Japan, working in collaboration with Dr. Nozomi Shimonohara, an anatomic pathologist at Idexx Laboratories in Tokyo, who earned her master’s in veterinary anatomy at Purdue in 2012. Two veterinary students, Christa Cheatham and Andrea Hall, and anatomic pathology resident, Dr. Ethan Biswell, participated in the study abroad experience, which spanned two-weeks during this past summer.
The primary goals of the program were to provide the participants with a skillset to collaborate and engage with veterinary professionals worldwide and also give them experience in veterinary pathology outside of the classroom. The participants learned about many aspects of veterinary pathology ranging from zoo and wildlife pathology at the Ueno Zoo, to lab animal pathology within universities, to emerging infectious diseases at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The study abroad participants were able to interact with students from four universities in the metro Tokyo area. They participated together in lab activities where they learned about immunohistochemistry. Students from Purdue University and from Japanese universities presented mystery slide cases throughout the trip. The students also reflected on their personal growth and their cultural self-awareness with day-to-day debriefings and personal essays during the program.
Dr. Lyle said organizing a global engagement program for veterinary students was a rewarding process. She emphasized the importance of collaborations when planning a trip to teach skills that go beyond the classroom. She worked hard to give her students a view of veterinary medicine beyond the walls of the classroom and encourage lifelong learning beyond the veterinary curriculum. Dr. Lyle says she is excited about the effect that the study abroad experience had on the students. “The overall significance for our veterinary students of studying abroad involves increasing their appreciation for having a global perspective of veterinary science.”
Writer(s): Amanda McCormick, PVM Communications Intern | firstname.lastname@example.org