Fourth year vet student travels 800 miles to work at West River Vet Clinic

West River Veterinarian Clinic recently hosted a fourth year veterinary student for a two week externship.

Fourth year vet student travels 800 miles to work at West River Vet Clinic
Fourth year vet student travels 800 miles to work at West River Vet Clinic

West River Veterinarian Clinic recently hosted a fourth year veterinary student for a two week externship.

Amanda Cronbraugh traveled more than 800 miles from Ames, Iowa, to Hettinger to get a feel for the size of large-animal herds that roam the prairies of North Dakota. Cronbraugh attends Iowa State University and arrived in Hettinger on Sept. 30 and finished her visit on Oct. 7.

“It’s a great place,” Cronbraugh said of Hettinger and West River Vet. “Everyone that i’ve met here has been so nice, and they’ve been willing to let me practice.”

Her trip to North Dakota is just one of about 25 two-week clinical rotations she must complete to finish her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Cronbraugh first met Dr. Ethan Andress and his family by chance a few years ago. Andress and his family were in Iowa on a trip and went to the Iowa State campus to visit the vet clinic, and Cronbraugh, a second year student at the time, happened to be the person available to give them a tour.

“It was a really random thing,” Cronbraugh said.

During the tour, Andress said they are always open to hosting vet students, and Cronbraugh kept his contact information until she was ready for the clinical rotations.

She told The Record that she has never been to vet practices outside of Iowa, and what attracted her to the area for her two-week visit was the large herds of cattle in North Dakota.

“There’s a lot more in one area up here as compared to back home, I thought that would be neat to see,” Cronbraugh said.

She’s accustomed to seeing herds with 70 to 100 head, and during her stay she was able to work with herds of up to 300 head of cattle.

Originally from Marengo, Iowa, Cronbraugh said she is most interested in bovines and the use of ultrasound machines during pregnancies, which is why she thought it would be a good opportunity to come to North Dakota.

“I’m really interested in bovine reproduction, ultrasounds, that kind of thing,” Cronbraugh said. “And with the bigger herd that they have up here, I thought it would be a good chance to get a lot of repetition in one spot.”

She was also interested in seeing West River Vet’s new facility. During Andress’s trip to Iowa he told her they were working on building a new clinic, and was observing their clinic for some ideas. Cronbraugh said she observed some similarities during her visit.

Cronbraugh also took time to observe some of West River Vet’s processes. One day she hopes to open her own rural, mixed animal practice, and was very open to suggestions from the staff and picked up some ideas she will keep in mind when she finishes school.

Cronbraugh will returned to Iowa for her next rotation, and will graduate the first weekend of May 2017.

When she’s done with her education, she hopes to become the main person at a clinic that works with ultrasound procedures, before pursuing her longterm goal of ownership.

“Hopefully, eventually I want to own my own practice and be as progressive as possible in a rural practice, and just give back to the community,” Cronbraugh said.







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