Hello and Welcome to my First Blog Post!

Hello! My name is Victoria and I am going into my third year of veterinary school at St. George’s University (btw if you saw the earlier SGU post I can definitely confirm that it is beautiful here!)

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This will be my final year on the wonderful island of Grenada which while I am excited for my upcoming clinical year, I am sad to be nearing the end of my time here. You see, at SGU a vet student will spend three years here in Grenada and then for the fourth year we go to other vet schools for our clinical rotation. If anyone is curious I can elaborate on why that is in another post and talk about the process of applying for fourth year schools.

I currently have a cat that I adopted my first year of vet school and his name is SS Marmu

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His name is actually an acronym for the nerves of the brachial plexus which would be Suprascapular, Subscapular, Musculocutaneous, Radial, Median, and Ulnar nerves. It was one of my favorite parts to dissect in anatomy lab so I decided I would name my cat after that. I also have a foster dog named Luca who is a local dog that ended up with one of SGU’s vet student organizations called Spay and Neuter Pothounds (SNP).     20993090_10154705792662026_6331983695900017224_n

The local dogs here are called pothounds and are often tan, medium sized, with short fur but you can get a huge variety of shapes, colors, and sizes due to all the different breeds that have ended up in Grenada. For example, a former student from SGU DNA tested her dog and it came back as 75% Rhodesian Ridgeback!

After veterinary school, I am seriously thinking about becoming a bovine veterinary though I am undecided on if I want to focus on beef or dairy. I did have the opportunity to work with a dairy veterinarian last summer and it was a blast! I really enjoyed working with the cows, I find the industry fascinating, and I love farmers. They were all such down to earth very practical people. I have spent time in small animal clinics like any vet student but I have found that I enjoy large animal medicine more. However, I have two more years of veterinary school to go and a little over two years ago I had no idea I’d be going to school in a foreign country and loving it. So, I don’t know what the future holds but I am looking forward to finding out!

If anyone has questions about SGU or the island feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer the best I can. I love going to veterinary school here because it’s so different from anywhere else you can go to vet school. It certainly presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. Animal welfare and care is very different from the US and because of that students here see so many things that either never or rarely occur in back home. Also, not going to lie, I LOVE the weather here. Many students think it is too hot but I think it’s great and I am not looking forward to going back to places that have more than just a wet and dry season.

So, keep an eye for posts from yours truly in the future! I’ll be writing more about living in Grenada and very soon I’ll be writing a post about going to Nicaragua this summer to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Until next time!

-Victoria

Week 1 on the Island Country of Grenada

So I have just survived my first week on the island and I must admit that this lifestyle has grown on me. When I first arrived, I was honestly terrified. I was one of the few first term students that opted out of living on campus because I had brought along my pet rabbit. (If anyone needs more information on getting a pet to the islands, please feel free to contact me). I am also living alone in my two bedroom apartment. However, it really isn’t as hard to adjust as I thought it might be. My landlord has been very helpful, the university really goes the extra mile to look out for its students, and the locals are incredibly friendly.

If you have seen pictures of St. George’s University, just know that is exactly what the school looks like in person. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes I believe the pictures don’t do it justice. If you haven’t seen it, please google it. The school sits on a peninsula/cliff at the southeastern edge of the island. You can actually see it when you fly in, as it’s located right next to the airport. The school also has its own beaches.

This past week has been part of a long, (and somewhat boring) orientation session for all first term students. Some of the lectures held were on receiving medical care on the island, safety and security, and academic support resources. It was a lot of information being thrown at you all at once, but hey, that’s vet school in a nutshell, isn’t it?

So far, the students I have met are pretty great people. SGU isn’t the kind of school that fosters a cutthroat, competitive atmosphere for their students as I have heard about other schools. In fact, they really encourage everyone to build positive relationships with their classmates from day one. I’m happy about this because I was worried I wouldn’t make friends as easily as everyone else because I was off campus and everyone else experienced dorm living together. No need for that worry though! This coming Monday and Tuesday is PAWS, which is a “professionalism workshop” of sorts. The class will be broken up into groups to do team bonding exercises. I’m a little skeptical of how running around in the heat all day will make everyone best buds, but I suppose I’m game (after all it’s mandatory). Hopefully I will be able to get back to you all soon and share some class experience.

Oh yea, fun fact: Instead of having squirrels running around on golf courses and such, here they have big orange crabs

University of Missouri C/O 2021

Hey guys! My name is Taylor and I will be starting veterinary school as a first year this fall (just a few days away).

To give a little bit about myself:

I grew up as a child who was very interested in both animals and science. Veterinary medicine was not my first dream job as a kid. Growing up, I wanted to be a marine biologist. My father greatly discouraged this and told me to become a veterinarian instead. It was his insisting that led me to discovering that my dream job could be combined with his idea. And so the dream of aquatic veterinarian was formed.

Outside of veterinary medicine, I spend my time with my pets. I have 1 cat and 2 dogs. Unfortunately I have been unable to take my dogs with me to school so far, so my parents have been taking care of them until I am able to. I am a reader of all types of books and a lover of all things cephalopod. I also spend a lot of my free time knitting and crocheting. I love to make socks! (I know…lots of old lady jokes.)

My path to veterinary school:

I started shadowing a local veterinarian my senior year of high school. I asked several veterinarians about shadowing before asking this one and was turned down at all of them. I had been told by a very wonderful and encouraging man at Mizzou a couple years before, that if I wanted something, to keep going back and questioning them. So I went again to this one last veterinarian I had yet to ask and he gave me a chance. He turned out to be a great mentor and an awesome friend. I would not change the outcome of these events if I could. From this I learned that sometimes both persistence and patience is needed when we are going for something we want. The trick is understanding when and how to apply it.

I continued to gain veterinary experience during college and while in college I worked to gain many hours of research experience. By the time I was ready to apply, the summer before my senior year, I had veterinary experience in large animal, equine, exotic, and small animal. I graduated in May with my Bachelors in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology.

I applied to 5 schools; Mizzou, Colorado, Washington State, Kansas State, and Ross. I was initially flat out rejected from Colorado and Washington. Kansas put me on the waitlist for their interviews but then later rejected me. I received an interview from both Mizzou and Ross. I was put on the waitlist for Mizzou, and then later accepted, and was accepted into the Vet Prep Program at Ross. After much thought and consideration about both cost and opportunities, I decided to attend Mizzou.

At the moment, my interests lie in aquatic medication, specifically rehabilitation. I plan on getting as much experience as I can, despite being located in the middle of the United States…aka, not anywhere close to salt water. I’m excited to begin this journey and share it with everyone here!

Taylor

Countdown to Vet School

I’ve been in Colorado since the start of the summer (June 1). I moved back up here after completing my MS at Texas A&M, I subleased through the summer and boarded my horses about 30 minutes North of the school. Right now I’m in between housing as I needed to vacate my sublease before my lease for my new place begins. I’m excited to be all moved into the home where I will spend my first year of veterinary school.

This summer I took a job working at an equestrian barn where we do several summer camps teaching children to ride. I’ve been out in the sun hanging out with horses every day, it’s been great but the anticipation of orientation is definitely setting in; I’m so excited!

I also resumed riding along with one of my favorite veterinarians this summer, Dr. Wheeler. It has been quite the reunion and it has been great hearing him introduce me as a veterinary student! I’ve learned even more this summer from him!

In addition, I’ve also started meeting some classmates as they have been trickling in since the beginning of summer. We have gone out to breweries in Fort Collins and went tubing down the Poudre River. We are all anxiously awaiting the journey ahead!

Until next time!

Erika

Poudre River float!
Poudre River float group!

 

(The) Ohio State University c/o 2019

Hello all!

My name is Kathrine and this is my very first blog post to Destination Doctor! I hope that what I write on this blog will help to provide perspective into veterinary school.

I am a rising third year at (the) Ohio State University and have two dogs. I moved to Ohio from Colorado for vet school and it’s definitely been an interesting journey so far. Right now, I’m interested in pursuing radiology (x-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI) though that has not always been the case. In high school, I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon because I shadowed at a specialty practice and got the chance to see many surgeries. Then in undergrad I did research on dairy cows and spent time on a sheep farm during lambing season. I fell in love with both species so I decided I actually wanted to be a large animal veterinarian. After some experience in veterinary school my interest has now shifted to radiology. At the heart of it I love anatomy, which is what drew me to orthopedic surgery first then radiology. But at the moment, the thought of 4-5 more years of training once I graduate seems daunting. My plan is to survive the next two years of veterinary school and, at the very least, be a doctor then figure it out from there. I’ve heard from many practicing veterinarians that what they set out to do in the beginning of their career is not what they ended up doing which gives me hope. It’s all about being open minded to the many possibilities that vet med has to offer.

Tips for getting in to veterinary school

Applying to veterinary school is a very exciting time in every aspiring DVMs life! It’s a great milestone, you’ve either finished a degree, prereqs or gotten experience hours finished up. Or maybe you’re on your way there and need some tips for getting in!

There are many, many things that each veterinary school considers during the selection process so this list is by no means exhaustive; there are things we don’t even know!

  1. Achieve a good GPA. While you can get into veterinary school with a less than perfect GPA a good one will help you tremendously and so GPA is #1 on this list!
  2. Be involved in shadowing, volunteering with veterinarians and any other hands on experience involving animals you can get! You should keep an accurate record of your hours, what you did and what type of animals you saw. This will make your application so much easier to fill out! Also, keep good record of contact information for anywhere you volunteered or worked.
  3. Get involved in the community! Having a diverse background is really helpful and will make you a more well-rounded candidate. The selections committee will want to see that you have pursuits outside of vet med, this includes school clubs. Bonus: When you’re a vet these outside pursuits will probably help you stay sane!
  4. Apply to more than one school, if possible. One tip for getting in is casting as wide of a net as you can. Research schools and find out what they are looking for in a candidate, this will help you select which schools to apply for. Check out their websites, most of them have a page dedicated to what they look for. I’ve used several methods over my 4 applications and this year I went with schools that took a more holistic approach, and now I’m starting vet school! (If you want help/advice please message/comment!)
  5. This goes along with #4, make sure you have the right pre-requisite classes for each school. If you are missing a pre-req but took a similar course E-MAIL THE SCHOOL. Don’t be afraid to contact a school you are interested in, they have teams dedicated to answering these questions. ASK!
  6. Write an awesome personal statement, and have as many people read it as possible. This is important, don’t just have vet affiliated people read it, everyone who reads it should come away thinking you absolutely NEED to be a vet!
  7. Have good recommendations. Don’t just ask anyone to write you a letter, make sure the people who are writing your recommendations know you well enough to talk about your talents and skills. I recommend at least one vet, a college professor/advisor (or both!) and an employer if you’ve had a job through school.
  8. Make sure all transcripts make it to VMCAS or TMDSAS early, when I applied this year the first thing I did was request transcripts. On my third application one school threw out my app because I requested transcripts about two weeks before the deadline and my school didn’t get it sent on time! Same goes for GRE scores, send them as soon as you can.
  9. Submit your application as early as you can. I don’t think this gives you an advantage for many schools but some do start looking at applications as soon as they come in, and schools like Ross and St. George have rolling admission, so they start interviewing as soon as 2 weeks after you submit!
  10. If you get an interview, don’t wear heels! This won’t affect your admission (as far as I know) but most schools have a tour before or after interviews and you don’t want to miss something because your feet hurt!
  11. If you get an interview, be yourself! If you try to edit yourself you will probably seem uncomfortable or unconvincing; it’s always best just to be yourself! The school wants a good fit and you should too!
  12. If you get multiple interviews, go to as many as you can! You never know what school will be the one to accept you. I was accepted to CSU out-of-state and they are known to be “harsh” on out-of-state students sometimes because they take so few.
  13. MMI interviews: if you have MMI interviews I recommend googling some practice questions (even ones not vet related). You can’t guess the content of the questions you will see, but you can get comfortable with talking for 5-6 minutes.

14. The final tip: if Vet Med is really what you want to do in life, don’t give up if you are          not accepted on your first or even second try. It is extremely competitive to get into            a school, it says nothing about what kind of vet you will be if you have to keep                    trying.

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“The difference between success and failure is, most often, not quitting.” -Walt Disney



Royal Veterinary College c/o 2021

image.pngHi! My name is Alli and this fall I’ll be trading in my New England life for 4 years in the original England! London to be exact.

A little about me: I am 25 years old from Eastern CT. My family has always had dogs, lots and lots of Labradors (currently at 6). While I was in high school we even bred labs for a few years. Even with all my crazy dogs, I always wanted to be a teacher. Once I started freshman year of college I realized it wasn’t for me, so I transferred schools and changed my major to Animal Science and worked with as many 4 legged friends as I could. It took me an extra year to finish my undergraduate degree thanks to my full time job and organic chemistry 2, then I ended up not applying for vet school in my last year of undergrad. In the end it was for the best; I got a job as a vet tech at a small animal practice and gained TONS of experience. I learned to love small animal practice, which I never thought I would say. I had always imagined a mixed animal practice, with lots of horses and I thought small animal only would be boring… it’s not!

Even though I love my job as a tech, I couldn’t give up on being a vet. So after a great year at my current job, I completed the VMCAS. I applied to 11 schools, and I was offered 5 interviews, attended 4, and recieved 1 offer first, then 2 offers off the waitlist. After days of debate, I couldn’t pass up my wildcard first offer at RVC.

I will be leaving everything that won’t fit into two suitcases as I head off for a crazy adventure in England. I’ll be even be leaving my 11 year old lab with my mom because she can’t fly :(. Still, I am looking forward to all the opportunities I will have in and out of school while I work towards being a real vet! I am simultaneously scared out of my mind and jump-up-and-down excited, but there is so much to do before I leave, I should be keeping pretty busy this summer!