This Doctor of Veterinary Medicine was unhappy until she changed her career, left the small animal hospital, and found some new veterinary niches within the pharmaceutical world.
We have a few other Ross University interviews featured on the site. They are all insightful and each adds a unique perspective on life after veterinary school.
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Check out this book: Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) to help you navigate all of the requirements for each college.
Veterinary School attended, and year that you started.
Ross University, 2003
What was your major in undergraduate college?
Animal Science, French minor
At what age did you first apply to Vet school?
How many schools did you apply to?
How many application cycles did you apply to, before being accepted?
How many schools invited you for an interview?
How many of those gave you an acceptance letter?
Do you remember any specifically challenging interview questions?
There were questions about moving to another country, bc I was applying to Ross University. Some other questions had to do with studying and my study habits; don’t recall much else that was challenging.
What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?
2.75 (major 3.0)
What types of paying jobs did you have before going to Veterinary School?
I had a Summer job at Disney’s Animal Kingdom once.
How many people read your personal statement before submitting it?
Did you volunteer? If so, where?
Yes, at a few places: some local vet clinics, local zoo back home, primate rescue group, and a farm for Retired horses.
When did you decide to become a Vet?
I was in my teen years, middle school.
Did you interview any Vets before starting the application process? If so how did you approach them?
I interviewed 2 vets as a teenager they were family friends; none as a college student or as an adult.
Were you a member of the Pre-Vet club at your school?
Did you join student clubs in your DVM program? If so, which ones? Were they helpful?
Very few: ER club & Bovine Club; not very helpful since I did not pursue either of these fields, I became Bovine AI certified but worked in small animal for years and now pharmaceutical.
Did you apply for Vet school after, or during your Bachelor’s education?
Who gave you your Letters of recommendation? Did you know them well?
I had them from a veterinarian and a professor but I did not know them well; I think the professor was helpful but the Dr was not very helpful in my letter bc I was not his employee only a volunteer and he told me he felt he couldn’t give me a strong letter but I still submitted his letter.
Are you happy that you chose this career?
What makes you unhappy about this career choice?
Salary, the debt to salary ratio, and public opinion.
Is there anything you can do to fix this?
I am now working in Pharma and feeling better about myself and my purpose. I started a new job with this major animal pharmaceutical company last month, so I am no longer working in small animal hospitals. It is important to explore new veterinary niches, before graduating. There are many opportunities available for the DVM nowadays.
Do you have any advice for students, once accepted?
Stay open to all fields of veterinary medicine, look at current practice and the current economy. Explore different veterinary niches. There is a need for avian and porcine vets now, I did not see that when I was in school, therefore now I have zero experience or knowledge of these species and cannot make the career transition due to lack of experience.
Any study tips?
Time management, schedule time for each subject/daily, weekly, etc & also schedule time for eating/ going out or watching TV etc… otherwise time starts running out and before you know it you are behind on a class subject because topics go by really fast and if you spent too much time online or watching TV and have neglected your studies, then you will get behind really quickly. Schedule time for breaks, eating, going for a walk, yoga/working out etc.
Have there been any classes, within your DVM program that were especially relatable to your current position?
Rotations are more relatable to real life, classes are all about the basics of medicine and science, they build upon each other – like knowing anatomy and physiology from 1st yr will get you through years 3-4.
What was the most challenging class, in your DVM program?
Parasitology and endocrinology
What did you like most about Ross?
The fact that there were no distractions was imperative to my success as a student. This allowed me to focus on studying. I loved the cultural immersion of living in St. Kitts, the multicultural island, and the campus.
When you were ready to do your clinical year in the states, did you get your top pick?
Yes, I got to go to UF in Gainsville.
As a Doctor, has there been any particular case that was your favorite?
Neuro cases were my favorite when I came out of school (I had to take neuro twice bc I failed) so it was very satisfying knowing the subject thoroughly and identifying the lesion location every time. Having the specialist agree with me on a case was also very satisfying.
What has been one of your most challenging cases?
IMHA (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia) and diabetes Chihuahua w/ chronic skin allergies; being able to wean off the steroids to be able to regulate her diabetes, keeping her skin allergies under control w/OUT using steroids and managing all diseases. together successfully.
Do you frequently have to research cases, on off hours?
Have you read or listened to anything worth sharing?
I LOVE podcasts and I listen to a wide variety daily: health, personal finances, personal development & leadership, happiness and Hollywood gossip (none of the ones I listen to are vet med related)
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Find out what vet medicine is really about before you go into it. Research all of the different veterinary niches. Find out if it matches your expectations, your personal strengths and the life you aspire to live.
Spending time and money to get a 4yr degree only to find out later on that you don’t really love it is a sad situation to be in. I am glad to have found a new career path away from the small animal hospital.