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what are some difficulties you have come across during your years in a veterinary school?

#veterinarian #animals

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Keyana’s Answer

Trying to stay motivated and starting connections in the field
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Elise’s Answer

Hi Liliana!

Before I became a researcher and histologist, I went to school with the idea I would become a veterinarian. Although that isn't the direction my professional life went, I have worked alongside many vet students and I think I can provide some insight. In the U.S., you have 4 years of undergraduate school followed by 4 years of veterinary school. Potentially, you can also have a 4 year residency as well where you gain more work related experience. I think a big difficulty is how many years you spend just studying. It is really easy to get burnt out before you even get to vet school, and getting in is competitive. Don't be discouraged though! Not getting into vet school on the first try is common and people find that it is actually helpful to take a gap year and save money (vet school is quite expensive, but scholarships are available), have a job, internship, or volunteer experience to strengthen their application. Once you get into vet school, it is going to be rigorous. Something I really enjoyed about the idea of being a vet was knowing a HUGE amount of anatomy about multiple animal types (whereas human doctors only know humans). Taking time to study and be successful in vet school and having help around you when you feel overwhelmed is a must. The first year is pretty much just classes and is about everything. You don't start to narrow in your scope of what field you want to be in (small animal, large animal, wildlife, etc.) until the 3rd year or so. By the 4th year you actually get to start practicing. 4th year students generally do rounds through different clinical settings. I worked in necropsy as a technician, which means I autopsied animals. Many people struggle with this aspect as it is likely the first time they have seen or been around a dead animal and it can be shocking, but also a great learning experience.

Overall, burnout is really common in vet school and afterwards. However, don't let this discourage you, the best thing you can do is plan ahead and think about ways to save money and what you will need to be successful. It is a rewarding career and don't feel rushed to do all that schooling back to back. Take time to have cool experiences and enjoy being a student!
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