Ross vet school keeps improving and adding new facilities each year. This year they opened a brand new research and pathology building which goes hand in hand with Ross University’s passion and commitment to the One Health initiative. Dr. Bailey Johnson graduated from Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine, a veterinary school on the island of St. Kitts, and is now a practicing DVM.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many Ross vet school students completed their Ross vet school interview over the phone.
Whether you are in high school just learning about what it takes to become a vet or an undergrad working on your pre-requisites, understanding how long it takes to become a vet is part of the process.
Ross vet school students go to school year-round, allowing them to complete their veterinary education a little quicker than most other veterinary colleges.
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If you are thinking about applying to one of the 30 US veterinary schools, they all have different requirements. Some schools require microbiology and some nutrition, but a few don’t need either. This book will lay it all out for you in a comprehensive guide. Check it out here: Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR)
Name, veterinary school attended, and year that you started.
Bailey Johnson, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, 2011
Do you have any animals?
Arlow, who is a 13-year-old Pug/Chihuahua mix
Tell me a little bit about where you work as a vet?
I work at a small animal hospital in the Twin Cities (Minnesota). The hospital is a family-owned practice, and we have a sister facility in the neighboring city.
Where did you attend undergrad, and what was your major?
The University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), where I received a BS in Animal Science with an emphasis on Veterinary Medicine.
Did you attend grad school?
Did you apply for vet school after or during your Bachelor’s education?
During and after
At what age did you first apply to vet school?
How many schools/application cycles did you apply to before being accepted?
I applied to 4 or 5 different schools for three cycles before getting into Ross vet school.
Were you waitlisted at any schools?
How many schools invited you for an interview?
1 (Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine)
How many of those gave you an acceptance letter?
1 (Ross vet school)
Do you remember any specifically challenging interview questions during your Ross vet school interview?
It was difficult to answer why I hadn’t performed as well in one or two specific classes as I did in others.
What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?
How many extracurricular activities did you list on your application?
During undergrad, I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. So all of those got listed.
Did you have exotic, large, and small animal experience before becoming a Ross vet school student?
I had many exotic animal experiences, including small exotics like birds, rodents, reptiles, and experience with large exotics (I did internships at both of the zoos in Minnesota). Working with exotic animals can help set you apart from other applicants.
What types of paying jobs did you have before going to Ross vet school?
I worked at vet clinics as an animal care staff and as a veterinary technician. A veterinary assistant vs. a veterinary technician often has overlapping duties depending on where you live.
I also worked in the animal research department at the U of M as an animal care technician. I directed research for a professor of surgery at the U of M vet school. A few other non vet jobs involved teaching piano lessons, dancing professionally for a few different dance companies in the cities, and promotional modeling.
Did you volunteer?
As a sort of pre-veterinary internship, I volunteered at the wildlife rehab center and the raptor center.
How many people read your personal statement before submitting it?
I had 3 or 4 different people read/edit my Ross vet school statement.
When did you decide to become a vet?
I’ve wanted to be a vet since I was older enough to talk/know what a vet was!
Did you interview any vets before starting the application process? If so, how did you approach them?
I spoke with several of the different vets that I worked for, usually during the workday.
Were you a member of any clubs at your undergraduate school? If so, which ones?
I was a member of the pre-vet club.
Did you join student clubs/orgs in your DVM program at Ross?
I was in the anatomy club during vet school as well as the surgery club.
Who gave you your letters of recommendation? Did you know them well?
Two veterinarians wrote me recommendation letters. One vet knew me very well; I worked for him for several years. I did direct research under the second Ross vet school recommendation, who is a veterinary surgeon. This second recommendation didn’t know me as well as the first. Although I did work closely with him and his associates.
Did you find the application process stressful? Why or why not?
The interviews were the most stressful part of the application process because you knew you got to the point where you were in final consideration, and there’s no perfect way to prepare for an interview.
Are you happy that you chose this career? What makes you most pleased about this career choice?
I am thrilled I chose this career. What makes me most happy is that I love what I do, and I genuinely enjoy working every day. I feel very fulfilled with my career and genuinely feel like I make a difference in people’s lives daily.
Do you have any advice for students, once accepted?
Work as hard as you can and put the effort to truly learn while you are in vet school. It will make clinical rotations and the first few years in practice much easier if you put the work in while learning.
Any study tips? What was your favorite method for studying while at Ross vet school?
Figure out what works best for you and truly take the time to learn versus cramming/memorizing. I would write my notes out into study guides, then make those study guides into flashcards. Before the exam, I would go through and quiz myself with flashcards.
Were there any classes, however, within your DVM program at Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine that were incredibly relatable to your current position?
I loved my small animal medicine and small animal surgery classes. Those classes are most applicable to what I do in my job every day.
What was the most challenging class in your DVM program at RUSVM?
The most challenging classes were virology and immunology.
As a student, did you have to take out loans for your education to attend Ross vet school? If so, are you concerned about the amount of debt or how to pay it back?
I did have to take out loans. It is always a concern to borrow such a large amount of money, but I am on track to have my loans completely paid off in 8 years.
Was there anything in particular about your DVM program or the school itself that you liked?
I think what made Ross University so special were the professors. The professors were there because they loved teaching and truly cared about how you did. They were very involved with students and students’ success.
As a Doctor, have there been any cases that stand out as a favorite?
My favorite cases are the ones where dogs or cats eat something they shouldn’t, and I have to go into surgery to remove it. It’s like Christmas opening up the stomach or intestines and seeing what you find. The animals also tend to recover well, and the owners are always grateful.
Do you have a specialty, or are you working towards one?
I’m a general practitioner.
How many different places have you worked for after vet school? Was it difficult finding a job that was the right fit for you?
I am lucky enough to have found a job that I love and is the right fit right out of vet school. Doing working interviews is so crucial in finding a job that is the right fit for you. It’s the best way to get to know the staff/environment and what type of medicine is practiced.
Did you have to move to take a position somewhere?
Tell me about a time when you had a challenging case.
In general, it is always challenging to have to give owners a hard diagnosis (like cancer) or diseases with a poor prognosis.
Do you frequently have to research cases on off-hours?
I will sometimes research difficult cases on hours.
Have you read or listened to anything worth sharing? (articles, podcasts, books)
Lately, I have been listening to podcasts. The one I’ve been listening to most recently is “Oprah’s super soul conversation.”
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Be patient, persistent, and resilient in your quest to get into vet school!
How can people find you?
Social media: Facebook or Instagram is probably the easiest
OTHER INTERVIEWS WITH ROSS STUDENTS AND GRADUATES CAN BE FOUND BELOW
- To learn about the army veterinarian program, check out our interview with Dr. Im
- Hannah first applied to vet school at age 27, see why she loved Ross University School of Vet Med
- The Ross vet school acceptance rate changes each year; learn about how Elizabeth got in.