University of Arizona vet students celebrate white coat ceremony, set to begin clinical year

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 10:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - It’s a day all medical and veterinary students are waiting for. Today, vet students at the University of Arizona celebrated their white coat ceremony, marking the start of their clinical year.

Hundreds gathered at the Tucson Convention Center’s Music Hall to celebrate two hard years of studying and exams.

The class of 2024 is only the second class to move on to their clinical year since the veterinary program’s beginning.

The class of almost 100 students says the friendships made during the last two years were ones to cherish forever, and they’re excited to see what the next year brings.

“It was definitely hard, but it’s not supposed to be easy,” said Abbie-Leigh Meneses. Meneses was one of many students who received their white coat.

“We work hard so we can do a good job when we get out into the field, and I think we all put in the hard work and we’re ready to get out there and show everybody what we can do.”

During their time at U of A, the students worked with community organizations like the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, learning new techniques and helping to keep the feral cat population under control.

“We invited the U of A vet students to come and learn about trap, neuter and return, and the importance of spaying outdoor cats for the community,” said Angéline Fahey. Fahey works as the Community Cat Programs Manager for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

“And then after that, they invited us to participate in their TNR week, where they provided surgeries for TNR cats.”

The Dean of the vet school, Julie Funk, expressed her pride and support for the students, leaving them with one last bit of wisdom as the students go on to their clinical year.

“They’re ready. They learned what they need to know, so now, [they will] open up their minds and their hearts, and work with the veterinarians and their practices to really do their best for animals and their clients,” said Funk.

“They’re going to make some mistakes, but that’s what learning in the clinical year is all about.”

After today’s ceremony, vet students will celebrate commencement in one year and head out to be veterinarians.

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