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MSU Grad Develops World Wide NetVet
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinarian Kenneth Boschert wants animals and information on their care more available, regardless of where people live.
Boschert, a 1984 graduate of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, created the "NetVet/Electronic Zoo" for the Internet, which reaches rural communities and highly populated cities. With well over 14,000 connections to other websites, the online resource links every veterinary medical and animal-related Internet resource.
Speaking recently to current MSU veterinary students, Bochert said veterinarians will be turning to computers more and more in the future. The Internet can serve as an information resource and for continuing education purposes.
"You can find documents, software, shareware, databases or just junk," Boschert said. "Today we're looking at a field-of-dreams syndrome -- if you build it, people will come. You have to watch out for inappropriate sites -- places where people are just out to make money."
Boschert's web site recently became part of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Online Network. NetVet and the Electronic Zoo are available as a free resource for anyone wanting animal information.
"NetVet should not replace an actual visit to a veterinarian's office," Boschert said. "There are just certain things a trained veterinarian has to look at before making a diagnosis."
Boschert graduated a year before all MSU veterinary students were required to own and operate a personal computer.
"It was a surprise to me how the web exploded the way it did, but it's been good to be in the right place at the right time," Boschert said.
The web site includes information on animal health organizations, government agencies and veterinary specialty organizations.
Links will take visitors to sites on veterinary and animal- related commerce and industry, publishers of animal-related books, journals and periodicals. Guests can gain insights into veterinary careers, zoos, colleges and universities.
For interactive information, people can sign onto mailing lists and news groups.
Dr. Wayne Groce, coordinator of MSU's veterinary college's office of special programs, said Boschert's efforts since graduation recently earned him Alumni Fellow honors.
"Dr. Boschert has demonstrated a tremendous amount of creativity and vision in establishing the NetVet/Electronic Zoo," Groce said. "Veterinarians and pet owners all around the world can benefit from his work."
Boschert serves as associate director of Washington University's Division of Comparative Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.
NetVet and the Electronic Zoo may be accessed through the American Veterinary Medical Association's website at http://www.avma.org.