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 and is now a practicing DVM.
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Name, veterinary school attended, and year that you started.
Bailey Johnson, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, 2011
Who are the animals that you currently share your life with?
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 3 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?
I had a lot of extracurricular activities I participated in. So all of those got listed.
Did you have exotic, large and small animal experience prior to applying to veterinary school?
I had a lot of exotic experience including small exotics like birds, rodents, and reptiles as well as experience with large exotics (I did internships at both of the zoos in Minnesota).
What types of paying jobs did you have before going to Ross vet school?
I worked at vet clinics as animal care staff and as a veterinary technician. I also worked in the animal research department at the U of M as animal care, did directed research for a professor of surgery at the U of M vet school, taught piano lessons, danced professionally for a few different dance companies in the cities and did some promotional modeling.
Did you volunteer? If so, where?
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 personal 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.
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? If so, which ones? Were they helpful?
I was in the anatomy club during vet school as well as surgery club.
Who gave you your letters of recommendation? Did you know them well?
The vet that I worked for several years wrote me a letter of recommendation (I knew him well) and the veterinary surgeon that I did direct research for wrote me a letter of recommendation (I didn’t know him as well, but worked 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 happy about this career choice?
I am very happy I chose this career. What makes me most happy is that I love what I do and I truly enjoy going to work every day. I feel very fulfilled with my career and genuinely feel like I make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.
Do you have any advice for students, once accepted?
Work as hard as you can and put the effort in 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 you are 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 flash cards. Before the exam, I would go through and quiz myself with the flashcards.
Were there any classes, within your DVM program at Ross University College of Veterinary Medicine that were especially 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 have 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 important 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 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 easiest