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Published on: October 27, 2011

We have all talked a lot recently about our ‘graying’  membership.  We know that many of the early members of the AETA are fast approaching retirement.  And we know that we need to continue to attract new individuals to the field of embryo transfer.

One way to help develop interest in embryo transfer is to host an extern at your practice.  The AETA website has a site to list practices that are willing to host externs; it is found in the membership section.  At that site you can identify your practice and define the externship that you would like to offer.  The externship site is open to all viewers of the website.  Students who are surfing the web looking for embryo transfer experience can locate your practice and contact you.

As you meet and work with these students you can talk about the annual meeting and the scholarships that are available.  You may meet a promising student that you would like to invite back to work over semester break or during the summer in a paid position.  As you follow that path you will be building interest and experience in both ET and your own practice; that interest may lead to a future full-time employee or even a partner.  And the student may arrange for you to give a lecture or demonstration at her school, extending your experience to a wider audience.

Simply put, we need to build relationships.  I am reminded of a story about a former veterinary school Dean who had prevailed on the Head of large animal surgery to accompany him on a trip to address a pony club on laminitis.  Now, it was a very long trip, a fact which gave the Head a lot of time to think about all that he was NOT accomplishing (lectures, research, casework, etc) while they were traveling.  On the return trip, sometime around midnight, the Head summoned the courage to ask the Dean just why they were spending hours and hours driving hundreds of miles to talk to a group of quite young people.  And without hesitation the Dean replied that these young people were the future students and he absolutely had to get them interested in veterinary medicine.

So it is with externs.  They are our future association members.  They are our future practice owners.  And we absolutely have to get them interested.  Please, sign up your practice today.

– Allen Rushmer, Education Committee, Chair

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