College of Veterinary Medicine selects new class in rural Kansas program
MANHATTAN – Four new students from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University have been chosen for the largest veterinary scholarship program offered by the state of Kansas: the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas.
This year’s recipients are veterinary first year students Chelsey Bieberle, Bushton; Emma McClure, Hugoton; Bryant Karlin, Manhattan; and Chandler Rogers, Topeka.
“The Rural Kansas Veterinary Training Program fulfills an important educational and service mission for the state of Kansas,” said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “These students went through a rigorous selection process. They will take additional training beyond the requirements of the vocational curriculum to prepare them for success in rural practice.
The Rural Kansas Veterinary Education Program was passed by the state legislature in 2006 to provide a financial incentive to provide rural Kansas with dedicated veterinarians.
“The program helps retain some of Kansas’ brightest and best veterinary students,” Rush said. “Fellows – past, present and future – create a unique community of supportive colleagues and represent the future of rural veterinary practice in Kansas.”
Program participants are eligible for a maximum of $ 20,000 in loans per year to pay for their tuition fees. Upon completion of their doctorate in veterinary medicine, each graduate is expected to work in a full-time veterinary practice in one of Kansas’ 91 counties with a population of less than 35,000. For each year the graduate works in rural Kansas, the state forgives $ 20,000 in loans. Graduates are expected to work four years in a county designated to receive $ 80,000 in loan waivers.
Ninety-six percent of graduates complete or have fulfilled their loan obligation through the service. Graduates who do not complete the service are required to repay the loan. Funds are reinvested by adding students to the program. Ninety-three percent of graduates who have completed their four-year obligation stay in an eligible county. Seventy percent remain in the practice and home community they entered after graduation.
Scholarship students spend time during the summer and breaks during the academic year learning about exotic animal disease preparedness, natural disaster response, rural sociology, small business management, and public health. They will also spend three weeks in a rural veterinary practice in their final year, applying the principles of small business management to rural veterinary practice.