Monthly Archives: June 2014

“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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