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An externship at an emergency veterinary hospital showed Marquis Scholar Amy Goldstein ’05 (Latham, N.Y.) that there’s much more to veterinary science than giving pets routine examinations.

Goldstein spent five days in New York City shadowing Philip Pacchiana ’91, staff surgeon at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists & 24hr Emergency Care. A neuroscience major and anthropology & sociology minor, Goldstein observed surgeries, sat in on client consultations, examined animals, and interpreted lab results.

She was among more than 200 Lafayette students who recently gained first-hand knowledge of the professional world. They served externships with alumni and other experienced professionals in business, the arts, education, healthcare, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students observed work practices, learned about careers they may consider entering after college, and developed professional networking contacts.

“The externship was a really great experience,” she says. “It taught me a lot of things and definitely confirmed for me that I want to go to vet school. I’m still not sure if I want to go into surgery, but it reinforced my plans.”

She discovered that some aspects of being a veterinarian are best learned through an externship.

“I gained a lot of hands-on experience,” she says. “I actually got to look at animals, saw the interaction between the doctor and the animals, and how he deals with people – those are things you can’t learn in class.”

If not for Lafayette’s career services office, Goldstein might not have had the opportunity to spend time with a veterinary specialist.

“He’s a board-certified veterinarian,” she says. “This past summer, when I worked in a veterinary clinic, I worked with a regular vet, but there was not a lot of surgery or specialty services.”

Pacchiana was glad to share his expertise with a Lafayette student.

“I did a similar externship myself while I was at Lafayette,” he says. “When I was an undergraduate, I knew I was interested in veterinary medicine and wanted to know more about it, so I did an externship with a Lafayette alum, which was my first exposure to veterinary medicine.

“Coming from a similar background, I could almost picture her on the Lafayette campus thinking similar things. I do feel a responsibility when I get a call from Lafayette to help out and be involved in volunteer programs – to get involved and do something for a student, which was done for me. It’s a great position to be in to be able to do that for someone else.”

Not only did Pacchiana share his time and knowledge with Goldstein, he was excited to show her the possibilities available to a veterinarian.

“I think it opened her eyes to the vastness of the options that she could have as a veterinarian,” he says. “When I was at her stage, I got a lot of experience just watching general practitioners through volunteering, but I didn’t know it was possible to be a surgeon or oncologist. It was probably interesting for her to see those options because I don’t think she was really envisioning what she could do as a specialist.”

Goldstein is president of the Residence Hall Council and a member of Alpha Delta Gamma sorority. She volunteers through Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center at the Easton Animal Shelter and with Equi-librium, a program providing horse-assisted therapy. She graduated from Shaker High School.

Chosen from among Lafayette’s most promising applicants, Marquis Scholars like Goldstein receive special financial aid and distinctive educational experiences and benefits, including a three-week, Lafayette-funded study-abroad course during January’s interim session between semesters. Marquis Scholars also participate in cultural activities in major cities and on campus, and mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty.

Categorized in: Academic News