Supporter Profile: Dr. Betsy Charles
by Marcia Hill Gossard '99, '04
Dr. Betsy and Drake Charles
It didn't take long for Betsy Charles ('95 BS Education, '95 BS Sciences, '03 DVM) to give back to the college that had given her so much. After she earned her DVM in 2003, Betsy completed a one year internship at an equine referral hospital. The very next year she began coming back to WSU as a facilitator for the veterinary Diagnostic Challenge.
"I have been coming every year ever since," says Charles. "I enjoyed it so much as a student I wanted to be involved on the other end."
The Diagnostic Challenges are case-based exercises that give students the opportunity to take what they've learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world challenges. Students diagnose patients and work with volunteer clients in a simulated setting, similar to what they will experience one day in their own practice. They are an innovative way for veterinary students to develop good communication and listening skills early in the curriculum.
"As a student, it was a cool and effective way to learn," says Charles. It was her facilitator Kyle Frandle ('74 BS, '80 DVM) who inspired her to want to come back and be a facilitator herself. Frandle became a facilitator in 2000 and has been coming back to WSU every year. Student get to practice their communication skills, which are as important as strong medical skills, says Frandle.
"I love the Diagnostic Challenge program and to be involved in innovative education," says Charles. "It is a great way to teach medicine."
Committed to student veterinary education Betsy and her husband Drake ('94 BS Art, '94 BS Nursing) have also given more than $11,000 for an annual student scholarship over the last 9 years.
"I love working and interacting with the students and staying connected with them," says Charles.