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

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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!