Interview with Dr. Hassen Jerbi
V.J: A short journey in time.
You graduated from ENVA (École Nationale de Médecine Vétérinaire de Sidi Thabet).
How was veterinary medicine back then, what kind of programs and facilities, ENVA was offering the students? Please tell us about the language program, admission, fees, scholarships, examinations, requirements of all kind (if you had to buy a medical robe, books, blades or the university gave these materials to all the students) atc. How is veterinary medicine nowadays at ENVST (programs, equipments, facilities, students)?
H.J: I was born in 1972 in Sfax, Tunis. Since I was a child, I was surrounded by animals and this fact conducted to a deep admiration for the animal world. My love for animals encouraged me to study veterinary medicine and the only veterinary medicine school from my area, was the veterinary school from Sidi Thabet.
The academic program is being held in French and it takes 5 years to complete it. Fundamental courses like Anatomy, Nutrition, Physiology, Biochemistry, Parasitology and Histology, are blending in with clinical study. Veterinary medicine is a free academic program in Tunis, along with some symbolic fees. In this program, professors from veterinary schools like Tunis and Dakar, assure high quality and great standards of performance.
After my graduation from ENVA, I have successfully obtained my Phd, studying the Histopathological dermatitis in dogs (1997). During this time, I was put in contact with a new side of the anatomy world, in L’Ecole Nationale de Maison Alfort, under the direct supervision of Professor Jean Marie Denoix. There, I have studied The Biomechanics and Locomotor Pathology of the Horse.Around 70 to 90 places in veterinary medicine program in our vet school, are available every year. Between 1985-2003, we had Erasmus program, with African students from Dakar, Senegal, Mauritania, Algeria, Palestine and Morroco. The vet school provides all the required facilities, but the students need to buy their own medical robe and scalpel.
V.J: Wild animals. Teaching anatomy.
In what year of study, a student is allowed to dissect? How many hours of anatomy per week, a student is required to study? Is there a special department of Wild Animals at ENVST?
Do students learn more about wild animals medicine comparing to other universities, where veterinary medicine of ruminants, equine, cats or dogs, is taught? How can a student be proficient in anatomy?
H.J: The anatomy dissections are being held during a 2 years program. So, in the 1st year, PV1, classes are teaching and evaluating students the fundamentals of anatomy, osteology, arthrology, myology, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the urogenital system, for a total of 72 hours. For the 2nd year, PV2, classes are teaching and evaluating students courses like angiology, the lymphatic and nervous system, for a total of 42 hours. The teaching dissection classes are hold on animals like horses, cows, sheep, dogs and goats. The wild animals teaching dissection classes are being held under a demonstrative title, teaching students comparative anatomy. Most of the bodies are coming from the local Zoo (Friguia Park). Anatomy teaching classes have a model like:
-6 students/table/donkey dissection -3 students/table/sheep dissection -8 students/table/cow dissection
We do not have a special department for wildlife, but we provide to our students all the material they need, also coming from the wildlife. I can say that our veterinary medicine program is better than in other parts.
V.J: Veterinary practice.
Did ENVA or ENVST organized for students, practice trips to farms or cattle butchery? Or where do you take students to practice?
H.J:During the 5 year program, students go to practice in clinical veterinary schools and agricultural farms. A three times per week program is required.
V.J: Educational programs
Do you have any research programs in your vet school? Is medical residency mandatory? Does ENVST organize internships?
H.J: At this moment, we do not have research programs, but we do provide for students, internships. They also complete in the 5th year of the medical program, a mandatory internship, which has the role to prepare the student for the veterinary medicine career. Residency, is mandatory, and it’s like a year.
V.J: Education and culture.
What is the main language for teaching in ENVST? Are there classes in Arabic? Do you have a special program for praying, like some other schools? Are women required to wear burqa/hijab during classes?
H.J: Like I said before, the program is being held in French. There are no Arabic classes. Students are only praying in the mosque. Women students are not obliged to wear special clothes. It is not mandatory.
For better results in the anatomy course, I recommend to all students, including here the Romanian students, the 6 volumes of Anatomie comparee, by Robert Barone. But it’s in French.