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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Online Social Networks for Veterinary Students

Social networking sites are everywhere these days. There’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among other sites for the general population, but there are also very specific groups you can join, depending on your interests. If you’re currently a veterinary student or are considering becoming one, here’s a list of five sites you’ll want to check out.

1. The Vet Social Network

The Vet Social Network is a professional and social network for veterinary students and veterinarians. It allows you to “stay connected with your classmates.” At this site, you can get your own professional @dvm.com email account and set up a mailing list. You can also join groups by interest or school, share photos, read fun and informative member blogs, and participate in forums. It’s a great way to get involved and stay up on what’s going on in your field or area of interest.

2. VetsU

At VetsU, you’re sure to find your tribe. This site claims to be “the most comprehensive social network focused solely on the animal health industry.” VetsU is open to anyone in the veterinary field and allows you to connect with others in a secure environment. A cool feature of this site is that you can upload documents to share and easily search through the files of others. You’ll find videos, blogs, and specialty communities here as well.

3. Student Doctor Network Forums

The veterinary forums at Student Doctor Network are for either pre-veterinary students or current veterinary students and professionals. You can join in on the forum of your choice to get real advice from your peers and from practicing veterinarians. You’ll find information on the best schools, the do’s and don’ts of the application process, and detailed information on your area of study. You can even make plans to get together with your virtual friends in real life.

4. Student American Veterinary Medical Association

The SAVMA is an offshoot of its parent organization, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and shares the same mission “to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to agriculture and public health.” There are 29 chapters with over 10,000 members. Even students studying abroad can become associate members. An advantage to this group is that leadership opportunities exist at both the chapter and the national level. Membership benefits include available loans for sophomore students and above, group health insurance, and access to a career development center.

5. Veterinary Student Network Abroad

The VSNA is exclusively for veterinary students wishing to study or currently studying abroad. It’s a website by students for students, allowing veterinary students from around the world to contribute and to share information. When you join VSNA, you can create your profile and have immediate access to real-time chat rooms. You can even get hooked up with a mentor and contact alumni of your institution. It’s a great way to learn about schools and about the culture of the country where you hope to study.

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