Dr. Cherie Buisson is a world-renowned speaker and author. She has helped many veterinary professionals find a path that is right for them.
*Note to reader: there might be affiliate links and if you buy Magoosh or anything else through the links provided (at no extra cost to you) you will be helping to keep this site running.*
Check out this book: Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) to help you navigate all of the requirements for each college.
Name, veterinary school attended, and year that you started.
Dr. Cherie Buisson
Mississippi State University 1996 (Class of 2000)
What was your major in undergraduate college?
At what age did you first apply to vet school?
How many schools did you apply to?
1 (early entry program – I was accepted into vet school at high school graduation)
How did you get chosen for the early entry program, were there specific criteria that you had to meet?
Mississippi State has (or maybe had – I don’t know if it still exists) a program where you are accepted to vet school as of high school graduation. I don’t remember the exact requirements, but I had to keep something around a 3.5 GPA in undergrad to stay in the program. I entered vet school after 3 years of undergrad and graduated from undergrad after my first year of vet school.
How many application cycles did you apply before being accepted?
Did you attend grad school?
What types of paying jobs did you have before going to veterinary school?
I was a Resident Assistant in the dorm during undergraduate and worked in veterinary hospitals as an assistant during my summers off
Did you work at a vet’s office?
Did you volunteer? If so, where?
I volunteered at a vet clinic when I was 16
When did you, Dr. Cherie Buisson, decide to become a Vet?
How many schools invited you for an interview?
I didn’t interview anywhere.
What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?
High 3s – don’t remember.
Did you interview any vets before starting the application process? If so how did you approach them?
I had talked to my bosses and friends but never asked if Vet school was a good idea.
Were you a member of the pre-vet club at your school?
Is it a good idea to join clubs/orgs once enrolled in a DVM program?
Yes but only those that interest you and don’t cause you added stress.
Who did you get your letters of recommendation from?
My letters of recommendation came from a veterinarian, a teacher, and my guidance counselor.
Did you know them very well before asking for a letter?
Dr. Cherie Buisson, are you happy that you chose this career?
I am now – I was not for the first 5 years of practice.
What caused you to be unhappy during the first 5 years of practice? What changed?
Mostly anxiety as I realized Vet school didn’t prepare me for actual practice. It’s hard enough knowing what needs to be done but trying to do that with an owner who doesn’t have the funds to help their pet – we didn’t get any instruction on how to handle that. I was trying to adjust to a new life outside of school while being coached to move faster and faster at work even when it was uncomfortable. I had a fantastic first job out and it was still amazingly stressful.
I transitioned to a feline-only practice, which helped quite a bit. It was a slower environment with even more mentorship, a limited species practice so I could get very good at one thing. No weekends except for treatments helped as well. I gained a lot of confidence but still had stress over client relations.
Ultimately, I realized private practice doesn’t agree with me. My stress level plummeted once I took myself out of that environment and put myself into one that was controlled by me.
Do you have any advice for students?
Take it seriously, but don’t let it rule your life. When you’re in Vet school, it seems like there’s nothing else in the world that’s as important. Your health, your friends, and your family are most important.
Dr. Cherie Buisson, do you have any study tips?
Do what works for you. I rewrote my notes while watching movies and that worked for me. Participate in some group study as well – it teaches you to collaborate with colleagues.
Have there been any classes, within your DVM program that were especially relatable to your current position?
Everything was relevant.
What was the most challenging class, in your DVM program?
Equine – it was brutal – no sleep, lots of manual labor that had nothing to do with studying veterinary medicine.
As a Doctor, have there been any particular cases that were your favorite?
I had a cat with pancreatitis and kidney failure that I managed to save with aggressive treatment.
Do you, Dr. Cherie Buisson, have a specialty or are you working towards one?
I am enrolled in and teaching part of the hospice certification program through IAAHPC
What has been your most challenging case?
A case that involved a cat that mutilated his tail was challenging.
Do you frequently have to research cases, on off hours?
That’s hard to say – I work mostly from home, so the line between on and off hours is blurred.
Have you read or listened to anything worth sharing?
The VetGirl podcasts are great for staying up to date.
Dr. Buisson, do you have any last words of wisdom?
Learn to take care of yourself. It is THE key element to surviving veterinary medicine. You can’t be a good and effective caretaker if you’re neglecting yourself.
How can people find you?