Gianni Martin

Future Veterinarian

August, 26th 2023


Article credits

Alabama A&M University

Five Alabama A&M students took part in the Doctors in Italy Pre-Vet Fellowship this summer. The program is designed for students in animal science, biology, public health, and similar fields with interest in veterinary medicine. Students from across the country were selected for an immersive eight-day placement at clinics, sanctuaries, and rescue centers, shadowing veterinarians during exams and surgeries.


“This was an amazing opportunity for me,” said Gianni Martin. “My fellowship was in Milan, where I learned about different aspects of veterinary medicine including animal nutrition and behavior, clinical skills, and caretaking in both a sanctuary setting and a clinical one.”

Future veterinarians after an exciting week of shadowing at the clinic.

This is the first year AAMU students have participated. Along with hands-on workshops, clinical case discussions and interactive lectures, students also immersed in the culture of their host sites. The five animal bio-health sciences majors worked in the following cities:


Recent graduate Kiah Blake – Florence, Italy
Sophomore Denae Washington – Perugia, Italy
Sophomore Layla Snow – Perugia, Italy
Sophomore Taniya Hunter – Milan & Florence, Italy
Recent graduate Gianni Martin – Milan, Italy


“We spent several days touring cities and historical sites,” said Kiah Blake. “We took group trips to Siena and Pisa. I also took a solo trip to Milan and traveled to the beautiful beaches in Cinque Terre.”

Gianni completed the Pre-Vet Program

Milan, Italy

  • 20+ shadowing hours per week
  • Mentored by Vets in clinical and animal sanctuary settings
  • Care for farm animals and exotics
  • 24-hour on-site support

“Opting to shadow on the other side of the world in a new country, culture, and foreign language requires considerable courage,” said Lisa Ferraro, Country Operations Manager at the Doctors in Italy Fellowship Programs. “We admire the students’ commitment to growth by stepping out of their comfort zones and their dedication to international education.”


The Doctors in Italy Fellowship Program includes two other shadowing programs for students who want to become healthcare professionals.

Gianni getting hands-on in the lab at the clinic.

“We encourage our students to apply for internships, not only to enhance their skills and understanding of content learned in the classroom, but to ensure they receive hands-on training that builds confidence in the field they are pursuing,” said Dr. Lisa Dalrymple, AAMU Research Associate, collaborating under the direction of Dr. Jorge Vizcarra (PI), Professor and ABHS Program Coordinator. 

Excursion day at Lake Como with shadowing companions and new lifelong friends.

Have questions? Connect with our fellows!

Send a question directed to our alumni and you’ll hear back from them.


In the spotlight

Get to know the Doctors in Italy Fellowship Alumni

Jared Baltz Future Veterinarian From Arkansas State University Shadowed Veterinarians in Rome, Italy

Jared Baltz

Arkansas State University

"the experience showed me proper care for various species and practices for being safe around these large animals"

Eliana Diaz-Aceituno future doctor from James Madison University shadowed doctors in Italy

Eliana Diaz-Aceituno

James Madison University

"In Italy, the doctor and patient have more of a personal relationship than here in the U.S."

Kate Bouchillon Future Doctor From Auburn University Shadowed Doctors in Rome, Italy

Kate Bouchillon

Auburn University

"Their focus on taking care of the person as a whole, physically and mentally, was eye-opening"