The phrase "work smarter, not harder" certainly applies to studying. The popular triangle pictured on the left to describe college life does not have to be 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.