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Software Review - I Can Be An Animal Doctor
Kids can explore veterinary medicine as a career

I Can Be An Animal Doctor
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Publishing
Ages: 6-10
Teaches: Basic medical concepts, art, math, science

Click on small graphics to see larger version

This learning game is filled with opportunities to learn about animal care, endangered animals, veterinary terms and diagnostics. Children (and adults) interested in animals, science, and/or math will find this to be a necessary title for their software collection.

Your adventures start out in the Cloud 9 Animal Park ranch office. You are invited to check out the office - a glossary of veterinary terminology, pet care, animal games, an endangered species interactive map, and a photo frame of 7 famous veterinarians (contemporary and historical). You can also get right to business by clicking on the Cloud 9 Animal Park map (on the wall) to visit the various environments and start examining sick animals in the field hospitals. You can visit the Farm, the Forest, the Savanna, and the Desert.

I started my journey on the farm. Each environment has a game (or two) that you can play. This scene has the "Feeding Frenzy" game - select which food is appropriate for each animal that stops by the cafe. Choose the wrong food, and uh-oh...the animal may get sick. If you do not choose the game, you are instructed to observe the scene (environment) for sick animals. Some animals that appear are healthy, some are ill. When you find an animal that you want to examine, click on it, and you are transported to the field hospital.

Once inside the field hospital, you have several tools to examine the animal and determine what (if anything) is wrong. The animal is placed on a scale table, and you can choose to do any of the following:

  • weigh the animal - the animal starts out on the exam table (large animals have a large floor model scale)
  • take the body temperature - using a special "infrared temperature probe"
  • listen to the heart and lungs with the stethoscope
  • take a look under the microscope - adjust the magnification and view the sample presented. Compare it with a normal sample. Each exam has one sample - blood, hair, milk, etc.
  • use the Vet View - a combination tool that offers radiographic view, organ view, and a magnifying glass to examine skin and hair close up.

The animal behind the Vet View at left is a pig, with the internal organ viewer on. The narrator will cue you if you miss anything upon viewing. If all is well, you are told that nothing is abnormal is noted. A chart appears after each test, with the results noted. You do not get the opportunity to guess what might be wrong or fill in the blanks on the diagnosis chart notes. However, when the exam is complete, the narrator, Dr. Max Rigby (Cloud 9 park veterinarian), will open 3 treatment drawers, filled with various medications and supplies. It is up to you to choose the correct one. Once the animal is treated, you will receive a postcard from the animal that can be viewed in the Ranch House mail box. You will also receive a certificate of achievement - working your way up from "Pooper Scooper" to "Veterinarian's Assistant" as you help more animals.

As mentioned earlier, each environment has a game or two to play when not examining and treating the native animals. These games are wonderful for learning math, animal life stages, animal trivia, animal camouflage (find the animals naturally camouflaged in their desert habitat), and even try your hand at creating some animal art.

This software title is a valuable learning tool for any young aspiring veterinarian, and for all kids who love animals, science, and learning.

For another review, please see the Tutor House Children's software review of this title. Check out the other animal and science reviews for this age group, too!

Do YOU want to be a vet?
Take the poll!

Janet, DVM

Graphic screen shots by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM - images © Macmillan Digital Publishing
Text: Copyright © Janet Tobiassen Crosby. All rights reserved.

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