North Carolina State University – College of Veterinary Medicine – Part 1 – The campus, area, and “Gold Star” List

This was my very first visit to a veterinary school , Sept 8-9, North Carolina State University CVM (NCSU-CVM). Like I said – I am behind in my blogs!!!

NCSU-CVM is a beautiful modern-looking campus in Raleigh NC with a very rural look and feel to it. The city of Raleigh comprises one vertex of what makes up the “Research Triangle” – with the other 2 vertices of the triangle being Durham and Chapel Hill .  Although the traffic can be heavy for commuters zipping between these locations, this area of NC is a wonderful, progressive, and stimulating place to live.

NCSU Campus map

NCSU Campus Map

I am going to show some pictures of things I think belong on my “Gold Star List” for NCSU. (I can’t always take pictures, so when I get to – I am happy to show a lot of them!)

*Teaching Animal Unit 1

When you walk out the back door of the CVM or teaching hospital, you see rolling pastures, a pond, and a large barn with a silo.


View of the Teaching Animal Unit 1, located directly behind the vet school

This 80 acre, “working & teaching farm” provides vet students, starting in their 1st year, with a multitude of “hands-on” experiences such as performing physical exams, restrain, and care of a range of species (dairy and beef cattle, dairy calves, goats, horses, pigs, chickens, turkeys and barn cats!), as well as managing and milking dairy cows, and leaning about the milking industry. Not only is this a “complete farm” – it is sooo convenient! (many vet schools have facilities where similar experiences can be gained – but this is the most convenient proximity-wise that I have seen, literally no need to get in a car!)

Cool barn

Close up of one of the cool barns.

Dairy cows in milking herd

Dairy cows in milking herd

Miking Parlor NCSU

Milking parlor NCSU-CVM

Goat Herd at NCSU

Goat Herd

Dairy calves

Dairy calves

* Anatomy Lab and “feature pieces”

So far, I think NCSU-CVM has the best anatomy labs and the most extensive specimen collection (bones, skulls and complete skeletons) that I have seen. In addition to inside the lab, skeletons are displayed in many areas around the vet school.

Elephant skeleton

Elephant skeleton

I was always told that the myth of the Cyclops arose when early people saw elephant skulls and couldn’t explain them – thinking that the skull belonged to some giant humenoid with only 1 large eye. The space for the “1 large eye” is actually the opening for the nasal passages that enter the center of the forehead and is adjacent to where the olfactory system connects specialized olfactory epithelium, and sensory nerves communication to the Olfactory bulbs via the Cribriform plate. 

Labeled Elephant skull

I actually took this elephant skull photo when I was in Africa!!
NCSU Gorrila skeleton

Gorilla skeleton holding a human skull…

NCSU Lion Skull

Lion skeleton. Check out those canine teeth (fangs)!!
labeled giraffe

Giraffe skeleton, near the downstairs lounge/locker area in the CVM. Amazing to think that the Giraffe has only 7 Cervical vertebrae!

photo 2

Horse skeleton in lobby 

photo 3

Skull of a sperm whale in lobby, over stairs to library

NCSU skulls in anatomy lab

Just a few of the skulls in NCSU’s collection

photo 1

Aquarium in lobby

This beautiful aquarium in the lobby was at point revamped and maintained by Lori Westmorland, a Stanford pre-vet, NCSU – CVM ’14,it. She is now doing an internship at the Baltimore aquarium. More about her later…

*Teaching Hospitals (the picture of the cute puppy below is from the NCSU-CVM website)

Terry Center (Small Animal Referral Hospital Complex)


The design of their beautiful small animal hospital consists of modules for each discipline (Dermatology, Cardiology, Orthopedics, etc.) that are independent yet connected . Each has its own entry way and waiting areas for patients. Wards are spacious and clean, there are well equipped exam and procedure rooms, and high-tech conference/meeting spaces for faculty and students.

While there – I met with my former pre-vet, Kristen Malinak, in her 1st yr at NCSU-CVM. Kristen was always in to horses, but has decided to pursue some aspect of small animal medicine/surgery. Kristen LOVES living in Raleigh, enjoys the “big city feel” if this rural environment, and is very happy about her classes and classmates alike. Kristen was admitted to several veterinary schools, but chose NCSU-CVM above them all (and has NO regrets!)

Me and Kristen

Kristen and Me at NCSU-CVM

KM Tile cropped

The beautiful tile that Kristen painted for me when she graduated from Stanford in 2013

Next blog – I will talk a bit about NCSU-CVM curriculum. I’m getting back in to bloggin’ mode…

Dr. B



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