Local veterinarian Dr. Rob Santos, and his wife Dr. Kristen Santos, held ‘Vet Club’ at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital where kids who are interested in veterinary medicine go to receive the opportunity to get hands on experience in the field.
Dr. Rob Santos started Vet Club, a free program for kids, after attending several career days at schools where students only came to his table because they had to or wanted to get out of another class. He then wanted to offer the opportunity to learn about veterinary medicine to those who were really interested in it or might be thinking of going into the field of veterinarian medicine.
Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital had held Vet Club previously but was never able to offer the program consistently until now.
Vet Club will be regularly scheduled for every third Thursday of each month, allowing 30 students maximum at each session to participate in various learning activities.
30 kids signed up for the free program on Thursday, ranging from ages 8-16. Thursday’s session included learning about eyeball anatomy, giving the children the opportunity to dissect a cow eyeball.
“Dissecting the eyeball is cool,” stated one young girl participant as she cut open the eye. “It’s gooey and awesome.”
After the hands-on vet experience, Kristen Santos, who has her doctorate in education, led some learning activities involving a magnifying glass that taught the kids how the eyeball works.
Participants were then offered the chance to go inside the veterinary hospital to watch a kitten being spayed in the surgery room. Many of the participants stated that watching the surgery was their favorite part of the hour-long session.
“The kids have fun and learned something at the same time,” said Dr. Rob Santos. “I hope this encourages kids to do well in school and gives some motivation to those wanting to go into the veterinary medicine field.”
The October session is already filling up as the popularity of the Vet Club increases. As of Thursday, there were already 90 students interested in participating at one of the Vet Club sessions. With such high interest from the community, there might be a 1 sign-up per kid until everyone has a chance to join in the fun.
If you are interested in participating, signing up or for more information, please call Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital at 209-634-0023 or check the calendar page on www.MonteVistaVet.com.