Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph is one of the accredited schools for studying Veterinary Medicine, U.S. students are welcome to apply to this school.
*The above photo is of Ollie – a teaching dog who Dr. Maggie BB adopted when she was at Ontario Veterinary College. Ollie’s critical illness is why she now works in emergency & critical care.*
*Note to reader: there might be affiliate links, if you buy something 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.
Margaret Brown-Bury, Ontario Veterinary College, 2005
What was your major in undergraduate college?
At what age did you first apply to Ontario Veterinary College?
How many schools did you apply to?
I only applied to Ontario Veterinary College.
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 Ontario Veterinary College,?
Babysitting, a dry cleaner, a small animal clinic (all areas), large animal clinic (NICU, reception, patient care), and a peer-helping program at University Library.
How many people did you have read your personal statement before submitting it?
I don’t think I had anyone read it. Maybe my mother.
Did you volunteer? If so, where?
Yes. At a couple of different small animal hospitals (one of which gave me a job), and at a large animal hospital (which led to a job as well).
When did you decide to become a vet?
When I was in elementary school.
How many schools invited you for an interview?
One, Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph (I only applied to one)
What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?
I really don’t remember.
Did you interview any vets before starting the application process? If so how did you approach them?
Not really, I went to the University of Guelph, which is where the Ontario Veterinary College is, so I had a lot of access to what the process would be like from current students.
Were you a member of the pre-vet club at your school?
Should students join clubs once they are enrolled in a DVM program?
DEFINITELY. It is an excellent way to get exposure to specific areas of interest and to gain special experiences.
Did you apply to vet school after, or during your Bachelor’s education?
I completed my Bachelors.
Who gave you your letters of recommendation?
Two were from veterinarians – one I had worked with, one had treated my cat through a difficult illness. I forget whom my third was from, probably my boss at the library.
Did you know them very well before asking for a letter?
Are you happy that you chose this career?
Do you have any advice for students, once they are accepted?
Don’t be afraid to take the unconventional path – not every Veterinarian ends up in private practice. There are plenty of opportunities for Veterinarians in many different areas. Once you get in, try new things and be open.
Don’t lose touch with your friends outside of vet school. You need to maintain a balance between Veterinary medicine and other things in the world. Friends outside of the industry will help you do that.
Any study tips?
You will never be able to memorize it all. Work on figuring out what is likely to be most important/most testable. Study groups will save your sanity.
Have there been any classes, within your DVM program that were especially relatable to your current position?
Art of Veterinary Medicine (communication) – it often seems like the most annoying course and the least clinically useful, but good communication skills are actually the most important thing many Vet students need to learn. The science is the obvious part, but if you can’t work well with others or communicate clearly with clients and colleagues, you will not do well after graduation.
What was the most challenging class, in your DVM program?
For me, anything that involves memorizing names of things . . . histology, anatomy, principles of disease (which encompassed bacteriology, parasitology, virology…)
As a Doctor, has there been any particular case that was your favorite?
After 7 years in general practice and a year in emergency medicine, this is a very hard question to answer!
I diagnosed and surgically treated a giant kidney worm infection, which was a highlight for sure.
Other cases that come to mind have a lot to do with the connection I made with the client and not necessarily the medicine involved. A few that come to mind are my first diabetic diagnosis in a cat, a 4-year-old doodle with liver failure, a seizure alert dog, and a Newfoundland dog with ITP.
Do you have a specialty or are you working towards one?
I do not, but I now work in emergency and critical care.
What has been your most challenging case?
Recently my team was faced with a very challenging septic abdomen. A 4-year-old, male neutered dog presented with acute abdominal signs and ended up in emergency surgery. He inexplicably had 6 inches of dead small bowel, which we removed. I learned a lot in being part of his care team, post-operatively, but unfortunately, he needed a second surgery and was ultimately not able to pull through.
The clients were willing to do whatever it took. They had consultations with a criticalist, and we did everything we could, however, you can’t win them all.
Do you frequently have to research cases, on off hours?
When I was in general practice, I did. We try as much as we can to cram it all into the day, however, when fully booked with appointments it can be hard to find the time to focus on a challenging case.
In emergency medicine, I am more often able to do my case related research during my shift since I don’t have appointments – but certainly, sometimes I am looking into things on my off hours as well.
Have you read or listened to anything worth sharing (doesn’t have to be Vet related)? (Articles, podcasts, books)
I’m currently reading “Testament of Youth” by Vera Brittain, which is an excellent WWI memoir. My book club is reading “The Shoemaker’s Wife”, which is a gorgeous historical fiction.
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Don’t listen to people who say you must have a plan B in case you don’t get in – I didn’t have a plan B. I panicked after my interview over my lack of a plan B and started thinking about it then… but leading up to that time, I felt that it was important to be focused. HOWEVER – you need to be well rounded to get in. Working towards getting into Vet school isn’t just about gaining clinical experience – having experience with working with people, and demonstrating interests outside of vet med is important. Just don’t worry about making a solid alternative plan until you have to 🙂
How can people find you? (Social media or email)