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China and the United States are cooperating on a program to improve veterinary training in China.
Four students from Chinese universities have already been selected to begin one-year pre-vet studies in the US.
The students are expected to further their studies in a four-year doctor of veterinary medicine curriculum at Kansas State University and University of California Davis starting next year before returning to China in 2017.
The program is sponsored by the China Scholarship Council, the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, the International Veterinary Collaboration for China and Kansas State University.
"The program will fill in the gap of China's veterinary education," said Jia Youling, director of the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association.
Though the number of Chinese studying abroad has continued to rise since the 1970s, no Chinese has received four-year veterinary training in the US in that time.
"The current graduates of the Chinese veterinary medical education system have much less hands-on clinical training compared with the (doctor of veterinary medicine) graduates of the veterinary medical education system in North American countries such as the US and Canada," said Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine under Kansas State University.
To change the situation, the International Veterinary Collaboration for China has worked with six American veterinary colleges to train 10 to 15 Chinese doctors of veterinary medicine every year.
Students from selected universities with a TOEFL score of 100 or higher will be interviewed by a panel that will evaluate their communication skills, professional demeanor and career plans.
According to Richardson, the students will gain a greater depth of basic veterinary science knowledge and clinical skills.
"Veterinary education has a direct impact on veterinary practice, bio-security, and international trade of animal and animal products," Richardson said.
"A practicing vet plays an irreplaceable role in ensuring sustainable development of animal production, safety of animal derived food, animal health and welfare, public health and biomedicine."
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