See One, Do One, Teach One

August 2, 2010

By Susan Monger, DVM

Equine wound repair
Drs. Casas and Lynch assisting student Sicilia Grady with a wound repair.
Dr. Susan Monger/HSVMA

It can be difficult at times to quantify the sustainability of direct care programs.

For HSVMA Rural Area Veterinary Services (HSVMA-RAVS) International, we witness the sustainability of our program in the sheer number of veterinarians—many of whom participated in our field clinics as students—that now devote their time and skills as returning volunteers.

The famous motto "see one, do one, teach one" was evidenced this year as three veterinarians—all former HSVMA-RAVS student participants—reunited with our team in Guatemala for an equine care clinic.

Although working horses are integral to the lives of Guatemalans, there is a severe lack of veterinary care in the small, remote villages throughout the Peten. So, in June, 2010, after a four year hiatus, we returned to this area to deliver much-needed care to the horses and burros.

And thankfully, we had some well-trained HSVMA-RAVS veterans joining us.

Welcome back, doctors

On a similar trip four years ago, Dr. Armando Nieto participated as a veterinary student from Colorado State University. This year, as a veterinarian, he donated his skills and time to a program that, by his own admission, greatly contributed to his education.

Equine surgery
Drs. Nieto and Russell peforming surgery.
Dr. Susan Monger/HSVMA

Drs. Raul Casas and Mike Russell, two other former HSVMA-RAVS students that now volunteer as veterinarians, were on hand to counsel veterinary students through the techniques and skills of equine anesthesia, surgery and medicine.

We have no doubt that many of the students that participated on this trip—or any of the other trips we conducted this year in the United States and abroad—will join us in the future to share their skills and experience with a new batch of students.

And we're certainly confident that Sicilia Grady, a third year veterinary student at Colorado State University who participated in this clinic, will return one day as a veterinarian and continue to augment the sustainability of our program.

Dr. Susan Monger is the Director of HSVMA-RAVS, International Program.