So there you are, sitting in your cramped office at the end of the day. You have what seems like a hundred medical records from the day’s appointments to finish up, along with a few clients to call back.
Yes, you enjoy solving the clinical problems you’re faced with, and you especially love seeing the joy on clients’ faces when you have good news to share about their pet’s prognosis. Surgery is fun, even if the spays, neuters, and dentals are getting a little old. And you’re actually making money now! Not enough to put much away for the future, but at least you’re getting the bills paid.
Your mind begins to wander a bit, and you remember the dreams you once had of using your veterinary education to solve some of the big problems facing today’s world. Infectious disease, environmental degradation, endangered species… all those things got you so excited just a few short years ago.
But now there’s barely time or motivation to even read the news.
Fulbright-Fogarty Fellows and Scholars in Public Health
Well lucky you, I’ve got just the thing! Yep, here is another great funding opportunity for veterinarians and vet students to take a year-long break from the grind and explore something totally exciting and different.
You’ve probably heard of the Fulbright Fellowship, right? Maybe an English major friend of yours went to Malaysia the year after undergrad with it? Well now there’s a great way for us veterinary types to take advantage of this federal piggy bank as well.
The Fulbright-Fogarty Fellows and Scholars in Public Health was just launched in 2011 as a way to tie together the Fulbright funding framework with NIH’s Fogarty International Center to place students and recent graduates in a number of unique research settings. You can read about my own experiences as Fogarty fellow in India here.
How about studying viruses in Botswana with Dr. Max Essex, a Harvard professor and veterinarian who has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research for over thirty years? That’s what recent WSU grad and veterinarian Tessa LeCuyer spent the last year doing. She was one of the first recipients of the Fulbright-Fogarty program and helped pave the way for the rest of us in the veterinary profession.
Or maybe you would prefer to spend the year in Peru, investigating the zoonotic epidemiology of cysticercosis?
The program could also take you to Bangladesh, where you might immerse yourself in the study of typhoid fever and other host-pathogen interactions. I had a good friend who spent a year in Dhaka and is now in his first year of the Epidemic Intelligence Service program.
There are a lot more options to explore, and fortunately you have some time to put your proposal together. Applications are open now. As you can see in the information below, there are two versions of this scholarship: one for graduate students and the other for people like me who have already finished their terminal degree.
There are also a lot more options for funded study and professional exchange programs through the Fulbright. If you would rather not study public health or infectious diseases, you can go through the regular Fulbright process and focus on almost anything under the sun.
For example, 2011 UPenn veterinary graduate Seth Dunipace spent the last year in Denmark studying swine management and veterinary practices. A trio of American veterinarians have recently studied wildlife health and medicine in Norway and Sweden through the Fulbright program.
Please get in touch if you need some ideas to get you going! I got a little behind in my replies here on the website, but now that I’m done with my board exam I’m working to catch up.
Application Due: October 15, 2013
Eligibility: U.S. vet students or grad students in other health-related disciplines from any school
Application Due: August 1, 2013
Eligibility: U.S. veterinarians (and other health professionals) who received their degree within the past five years