Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I volunteered at the feral cat clinic recently, and events like this always get me thinking about veterinary medicine; aspects of that career path, the difficulty of getting there, etc. Whilst scrubbing a couple hundred cat genitalia for surgery prep, I wondered if I wanted to focus on small animal medicine if/when I eventually get there. Volunteering at this clinic has given me the opportunity to observe a few surgeries and to get a feel of what it's like to work in this type of environment. The beauty of it is that I have years to decide on the specifics of my future, but it is something I enjoy thinking about.
Small animal medicine is definitely a consideration, but I do tend to lean towards the idea of large animal medicine, or a mixed practice type deal. I wouldn't mind living somewhere rural, and Doom says as long as he has internet he doesn't care (boys... ). There's something about cows, horses, pigs, etc. that just seems so... fascinating. 
When I used to work as a dog bather at a grooming salon I felt like it was similar to vet med in the sense that I took care of other people's animals and interacted directly with the owners. But it does seem a tad tame (especially after standing up and prepping cats for 5 hours straight). Also... owners of pets can be kinda crazy, and I know my people skills lack luster.
  Sometimes I dream about being a researcher or eventually teaching (which oft go hand-in-hand) since I do enjoy the science of it. Not sure if I'll ever get there, however I'll get to experience research as an undergrad eventually!
It seems just so diverse, even though I've narrowed my choice down to veterinary medicine, there is still so much I can do.

On a thread, I found an AMA from a first year veterinary student, so I asked a few questions. They were pretty helpful and interesting. Here's what I got from it:
  • Schools want "well-rounded" individuals with "life-changing" experiences or accomplishments
  •  Schools want you to be interested in all aspects of veterinary medicine, they don't want you to slot yourself into 'small-animal private practice' right out of undergrad
  • There are 2-6 interviewers, typically 2-3 (how nerve-wracking!)
  • apply to schools that genuinely work best for you, don't force yourself to be somewhere miserable if you can help it.
  • personal statements on applications are important
I've learned a lot about this whole 'applying to veterinary school' thing from talking to my adviser and other pre-veterinary students at my school, but it's nice to talk to someone who's actually gotten there (even if it was just a couple of exchanged comments/replies)!
I'm still gathering up knowledge about this, and striving to improve myself as I go (character, academics, etc.)
Here's to pondering, 'cause it'll get you somewhere if you keep at it!


  1. You could do animal nutrition, or veterinary behavioral modification, or physical therapy for animals (becoming more popular, might want to think about that one), surgical expert, etc! I think the biggest thing is to be passionate in whatever you do, they might a well rounded person rather then a semi- well rounded person, but you're going to win out if you express your desire to learn and passion for the subject. I could see you being in a mixed, large and small, slot. Want to settle in Montana in ten years with me?? :D
    That's so awesome you got to talk to someone! I want to talk to Patricia but that's hard... :)

  2. MONTANA? I thought we were doing Oregon! Lol I guess I don't care as long as Doom and I can find jobs and as long as there are trees!

  3. OR first definitely! And for years. But possibly MT after that... :P