Ever heard the phrase, "work smarter, not harder"? It also applies to studying! The popular triangle pictured on the left to describe college life does NOT have to be your reality if you practice smart studying. Here are a few study techniques for you to try out that I have used during college and vet school. These study techniques are active studying, essentially mental exercises that build neural patterns to reinforce learning, and are much less boring than just skimming your notes over and over, which is more of a passive form of studying that promotes short term memory.
If studying is done in an active and focused manner, you may even find that your overall time spent studying is less, while you achieve the same or better grades, and have good grades AND a social life AND adequate sleep as I have been able to enjoy from college and even in veterinary school.
While almost none of these subjects are pre-requisites, studying them formally via a college course will certainly help you feel very comfortable with some of the material you'll later cover in the didactic years of vet school. If you have any room in your undergraduate schedule, you'd be doing yourself a favor to take any of these classes. Having prior exposure to these topics will significantly reduce your stress in vet school (I have observed this in my classmates and in myself). Upper-division classes that are intro-level or general are at the appropriate level to groom you for what you'll learn later in vet school (you don't need to take the very advanced upper div courses). You may even consider taking them pass/no pass so they don't affect your GPA but you still get the exposure.
I'm sure you are well aware that veterinary school is going to be expensive, but you may not have realized that the costs actually start with the applications. Application cost may be constraining when trying to select how many, and which, schools to apply to. Though I only applied to four schools (UC Davis, Colorado State, Washington State, and Oregon State), I spent over $1,000 towards applying to vet school alone. The cost of applications will be slightly different for each applicant, so this post can help guide you as you budget and plan your application strategy. Click "Read More" to see the article!
These are three TED Talks that have had particular impact on me, and have inspired me to achieve great things and many things. The first one is about how we can advance medicine for all species, including humans; second one is about how women hold themselves back; and third is about setting your priorities to drive your time management. I'm always on the lookout for amazing TED Talk speakers and messages! If you know of some, tell me through the "contact" form, or leave a comment!
When I was 18, I went on a voluntour/ecotour of the Galapagos Islands through Ecology Project International (EPI) and had the wonderful opportunities to work with the Galapagos National Park to collect field data on free-ranging Galapagos tortoises and clear invasive weeds in the national park. I also got to do many ecotourism activities, like snorkeling and hiking in lava tubes and on multiple islands and seeing almost all of the famous endemic wildlife species. My group and I also spent time with Galapagueno high schoolers. It was an unforgettable 12 days that greatly impacted my career goals in veterinary medicine towards a global, "one health" direction. Check out my blog post here.
Here, I summarize why someone might be interested in complementary degrees to the DVM and dual-degree options, and what the program requirements are. I also include a link to a page from North Carolina State University, which lists all the veterinary schools' with dual degree programs and a link to their separate pages. Note: A dual-degree program is not the same as specializing or completing a residency-- medical specialties are achieved after the DVM, and I will write another blog post about the various specializations in the future!
Anyone can tell you that getting into veterinary school means getting experience with animals, getting good grades in science, and creating good relationships with employers and potential letter-of-rec writers. But there are some pro tips that many people don't think to share, or don't realize until they're older. Here, I give you ten tips that are best heard as early in your life as possible, not only to help you get in to veterinary school, but to help you reach any goal you want in life.
Note: this article is an adaptation of a handout I passed out during a speaking gig at the UC Davis Vet Aide Club.
The personal statement is your opportunity to define yourself among the hundreds of other applications the admission committees look at. The most-applied to veterinary schools have 800-900 applicants from which they admit less than 200. The personal statement is your opportunity to tell them who you are and why you will be an exceptional student, a valuable colleague, and asset to the profession. In other words, you get to tell them why they should choose you to be a part of their entering class.
Some schools use the personal statement as a major component of the admission formula, but some only consider it a minor component, and some do not read it at all (UC Davis SVM pre-2015, but now they say they are taking it into consideration). You can always contact the admissions office to inquire about the weight of the statement in their admissions formula.
In this article, I describe the process of how I wrote my personal statement with examples (at the end of the blog post) of its progression from brainstorming to first draft to final draft. I have included my actual drafts for you to read for ideas on organization, length, what kinds of things to include, stylistic ideas, etc.
However, remember that it is illegal to plagiarize any part of my essay, and doing so reveals poor ethics, poor writing skills, lack of vet/animal experience, all of which make the plagiarist a horrible veterinarian. You can certainly benefit from reading my statement without plagiarizing it.
Are you in high school and thinking that veterinary medicine may be the right fit for you? Want to learn some exciting fun facts about veterinarians? Then check out the pages below! These are a couple of pre-vet handouts I made for a STEM conference for middle-school girls. Feel free to distribute them for educational purposes as long as my name is retained on the page.
I'm in the slow process of transferring my old articles from my old website - check them out for a ton of pre-vet info! Go to: www.apachegirl.weebly.com
Recently I started listening to podcasts, and I am so bummed I didn't discover them sooner! I recommend them for anyone involved or who wants to become involved in the veterinary community, from pre-vets to vet students to professionals. They are an awesome way to make use of "wasted" time, such as the time you spend driving to the grocery store or folding laundry, and I've learned so much from them. Click "read more" below to see my two favorite podcast channels and a description of each!
Articles in this blog are oriented to readers interested in going to veterinary school.