New club takes flight for students interested in avian medicine

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Though the College of Veterinary Medicine provides some instruction on treating birds within its curriculum, it recently adopted a student organization specifically for students interested in avian medicine.

Bairon Madrigal and Jayden McCall, both in their second years of the veterinary medicine program, founded the Avian Medicine Club. The club is a resource both for those wanting to specialize in avian medicine and for mixed veterinarians who could see poultry in their practice.

Madrigal, president of AMC, said students in all veterinary specializations are welcome, as it’s likely they’ll interact with birds at some point in their careers.

“There has been a recent explosion in backyard poultry, even within cities,” James Carpenter, professor of zoological medicine and club advisor, said.

AMC hosted three meetings so far, including guest speakers within the field and collaboration with other clubs within the College of Veterinary Medicine. McCall and Madrigal hope to continue these collaborations and introduce field trips.

Plans to visit a zoo may get off the ground in the future, McCall said. Such a trip would be useful for hands-on experience, but scheduling field trips is difficult because of COVID-19 regulations and the novelty of AMC. It remains to be seen when AMC will be able to make a zoo visit happen.

About 40 students currently participate in AMC, and Madrigal said the club is always welcoming new members. The College of Veterinary Medicine is full of opportunities for students to get involved, he said.

“For those undergrad students, I know K-State has a pre-veterinary club,” Magrigal said. “Even just students with this (avian) interest … they are more than welcome to reach out to us and to be a part of the club.”

Social distancing guidelines limit the number of members who can attend each AMC meeting. Madrigal said interested students should reach out to him before coming to a meeting for more information and to ensure there’s enough space to attend safely.

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