Welcome to Vet School!

The Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine Inaugural Class of 2018 after the White Coat Ceremony on August 15th.

On August 13th, 2014, ninety-six people from across the country gathered in the Math and Science Building, anxiously awaiting the start of orientation. Dr. Gil Burns, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, took the microphone to officially welcome the Inaugural Class of 2018 to the United State’s newest College of Veterinary Medicine. It was an indescribable moment for me–everything I’ve been working toward since I was a junior in high school was finally becoming true. I was starting vet school! Read the rest of this entry

All Creatures Great and Small

One of the most exciting parts of veterinary medicine is getting to work with many different breeds and species of animals; it’s what separates veterinary medicine from human medicine. Whenever I tell someone that I’m starting vet school, they always ask about the program– the length, clinical rotations, internship and residency requirements–especially since this is LMU-CVM’s first class of students. In previous posts I’ve discussed the application process that I went through this past year to become part of the first class. Now, I want to talk about LMU-CVM’s program as well as the classes and experiences that I will be going through over the next four years. Read the rest of this entry

“Vetting” the Field, Part 2

In Part One, I talked about my experience in human clinical research. In addition, I got to work with several vets (in the capacity of shadowing, for the most part) so that I could get a realistic view of large and small animal work and the differences the two practices present. Some of my classmates had thousands of hours of veterinary experience from working in practices; I only had a few hundred, but I had the opportunity to hear the doctor’s reasoning about why they thought the animal had [X] disease and they were going to proceed with [Y] treatment because I was shadowing instead of working as an assistant. Admissions committees want to see that an applicant has put thought and gained real life experience in the field of veterinary medicine so s/he know what s/he is getting into down the road. Veterinary medicine is less glamorous than often portrayed! Read the rest of this entry

“Vetting” The Field, Part 1

My past two posts have been about gaining valuable animal experience for your veterinary school application (see It’s All About The Animals Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t read them!). Now, it’s time for veterinary experience! After talking to some other members of the LMU-CVM Inaugural Class of 2018, I realized how incredibly varied and unique each of our experiences are. Some people are licensed veterinary technicians that decided to return to school to further their education; others have worked in a vet clinic in different capacities (i.e. kennel technician, veterinary assistant, receptionist) since they were in high school. Then you have people like me that have lots of animal experience and a great GPA, but not as much veterinary experience. I took a somewhat unconventional route to gain much of my experience: an internship in clinical research (with humans). Prior to the current cycle, VMCAS included experience with any healthcare professional as “veterinary”, not just work done with or under the supervision of a veterinarian as in the 2015 cycle. I’m glad VMCAS clarified the definition this year because there was a lot of debate about whether an experience could be considered “veterinary” in the past. Read the rest of this entry

It’s All About The Animals, Part 2

Last time, I talked about my equine experience at Wind River Ranch. Now, I want to share about my time in the 4-H Horse Program. In More Than Puppy Love, I briefly discussed how 4-H got me interested in the scientific aspect of horses, but I learned so much more than equine anatomy and physiology over my nine years in 4-H.

First and foremost, 4-H taught me about caring for horses. In the Virginia 4-H Horse Project, all participants are required to declare their project horse in early May and qualify at district shows and clinics in May and June before they could show at the State Championship Show in September. If I had two horses and I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to show at State, then I could declare and qualify both horses and make the decision later in the summer, after I had more time to work each horse and see which one was more prepared. The qualification system also made sure that people weren’t just buying a horse a couple of weeks before State and bringing an unprepared horse to a large, hectic show. I had to care for my project horses by grooming them, making sure they got shod (hooves trimmed and shoes put on), devising a nutrition plan to keep them at an optimal weight, and cleaning the stalls so they stayed clean and healthy. A huge component of animal experience is simply becoming comfortable around different species; I know some people in my class that have almost exclusively small-animal experience, and thus they aren’t very comfortable around horses or other livestock. Gaining this comfort is not something that can be rushed, and one of the best ways to get comfortable is being around horses and grooming them. Read the rest of this entry

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