LMU adds second class of vet school students

Published 6:23 pm Monday, October 24, 2022


The American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education has approved the Lincoln Memorial University-Richard A. Gillespie College of Veterinary Medicine’s substantive change request to add a second entering class of 100 students in the spring semester. LMU President Clayton Hess, PhD, announced plans to admit the first new cohort beginning in January.

“Our mission is to serve Appalachia,” said LMU-CVM Dean Stacy Anderson, DVM, PhD, DACVS-LA. “There is a veterinary shortage that is not only impacting Appalachia, but also the entire nation. LMU-CVM is uniquely positioned to expand class size due to the foresight of its Board of Trustees. LMU built spaces to accommodate class expansion and engaged hundreds of veterinary practices to train our students in the distributive clinical year. We stand ready to produce more confident, competent, career-ready veterinarians.”

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LMU first announced plans to open a college of veterinary medicine in 2011. In 2014, LMU-CVM welcomed the members of its inaugural class. Four years later, in May 2018, the LMU-CVM graduated its inaugural class. LMU’s growth in veterinary medicine continues a trend for LMU – developing health science programs to train career-ready practitioners and expanding them to meet the needs of underserved communities in Appalachia and beyond. LMU-CVM set itself apart from other veterinary schools with its hybrid distributive learning model – one of only a few of its kind in veterinary education. LMU-CVM’s curriculum provides students with real-world, hands-on experience at over 240 veterinary practices around the country.

LMU was founded in 1897 with the mission of providing educational opportunities to the underserved populations in the Cumberland Gap region of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. Over the years, the University has evolved from a traditional liberal arts institution to a growing national university with a robust collection of health science programs. Nursing was introduced in 1974 and expanded to include graduate nursing programs in 2006. In 2007, LMU opened the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and a Physician Assistant Studies program followed in 2009. Both programs celebrated the commencement of their inaugural classes in 2011. LMU continued to expand, with the opening of LMU-CVM in 2014. A second location of LMU-DCOM in Knoxville opened in 2019. That same year the LMU-School of Medical Sciences was established to house the Physician Assistant program as well as the Doctor of Medical Science program which began in 2016. Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Doctorate programs were added in 2020 and just last month LMU opened its doors to the LMU-College of Dental Medicine.

“Lincoln Memorial University is 125 years old, but if you look at the last 20 years, you will see we have put an emphasis on developing programs to fill specific needs for the Appalachian region,” LMU Board Chairman O.V. Autry “Pete” DeBusk said. “We built the medical school because we’re in a service area that is medically underserved and then we looked at other programs that would help. So, we expanded our nursing offerings, added a physician assistant program, built a veterinary school, added physical therapy and occupational therapy and finally a college of dental medicine. The truth of the matter is that there is more work to be done. This expansion opens the door for LMU to do so much more, here in Appalachia and across the country.”

LMU-CVM students spend three years studying on the University’s main campus in Harrogate, with clinical skills and anatomy classes taking place at the DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center in Ewing, Virginia. The new state-of-the-art facilities were constructed with growth in mind and will easily accommodate the additional cohort. The Gillespie CVM building is a three-story, 85,000 square foot facility which includes two large lecture halls, 24 state-of-the-art communication laboratories, simulation suites, basic and clinical sciences classrooms, study rooms, faculty offices and flexible space. The DVTC includes six buildings housing over 93,000 square feet of facilities for veterinary skills curriculum, including a surgery suite, anatomy lab and clinical skills simulation center.

“Dean Anderson and the LMU-CVM team have carefully prepared for this growth by designing an innovative curriculum, building flexible space into their facilities and embracing change within the veterinary industry,” Hess said. “Our graduates leave here practice-ready and make immediate impacts on the communities they serve, and I am excited to see more aspiring veterinarians have the opportunity to train here and make a difference in the world.”

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is in Harrogate. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at admissions@LMUnet.edu.