|OSU Alumnus among first selected for Loan Repayment Program|
(December 21, 2010 Stillwater, OK) – Dr. Shane Porter is a 2010 graduate of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. He is one of 62 rural veterinarians who will receive awards totaling nearly $6 million to repay their veterinary school loans in return for providing veterinary services in areas experiencing a veterinary shortage.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the awards were made through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. Recipients must commit to three years of veterinary service in a designated veterinary shortage area.
“I feel very blessed and humbled that during this time when the government is trying to save money, that they would make an investment in me,” explains Porter. “I feel an obligation to make sure that my contribution to society justifies their investment.”
Porter works at Limon Veterinary Clinic located in Limon, Colo.
“It is a mixed animal practice with about half of the time spent on small animals and the other half on large animal work. As an associate veterinarian, I perform spays and neuters, soft-tissue surgeries, and treat sick animals in the clinic and on ambulatory calls. I also do pregnancy tests on cows, Bangs vaccinate heifers and fertility test bulls,” adds Porter.
Veterinarians are critical to national food safety and food security as well as to the health and well-being of both animals and humans. Studies indicate a growing shortage of food supply veterinarians and veterinarians serving in rural areas.
“My wife and I really like living in a small town. I like the people I work for and with. For the most part, rural people are practical and understanding. Sometimes things don’t turn out as you hoped they would and people are generally pretty understanding,” he says.
A leading cause for the shortage of veterinarians is the cost of four years of professional veterinary medical training. OSU veterinary graduates average $100,000 in educational debt load. The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program was established by Congress as a way of attracting more veterinarians into shortage areas. Porter will receive $25,000 a year for three years in return for working in an underserved area.
“OSU taught me the principles that I need to think through veterinary cases,” smiles Porter. “I realize that there is a lot that I don’t fully understand yet. Drs. Lionel Dawson, Sandra Morgan, Kendra Rock, Robert Carmichael and Teresa Seyfert, all at OSU’s veterinary center, have been very helpful in giving me advice. I love being a veterinarian. I am grateful to be starting a career that I am excited about in a country and land that is so full of opportunity.”
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center's Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24 hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.