Is Vet School Right for Me? or What do I do after graduation?

Introduction

Being a veterinarian takes a certain amount of commitment and conviction. It may have been something you always wanted to do, something another person told you would fit your personality, or your parents instilled in you as a child. And sometimes you find it isn’t what you were picturing. Whatever the case, you are the one to make the decision to become a veterinarian (or not). You are the one who will be living your life.

Considerations

  • It is normal to question whether you are doing the right thing being in vet school. At some point along the way, just about everyone will ask himself/herself that same question. Your particular experiences may at times cause doubt. At other times, they may reaffirm your decision to become a vet.
  • Talking to classmates, friends, peers, parents, or siblings can help by revisiting your decision to pursue vet med. Clinics may also influence you.
  • Don’t worry about getting discouraged by hard classes and difficult material. Inevitably it will happen to everyone. Persevere; this too shall pass. We all have strengths and weaknesses.
  • It may get very frustrating if studying doesn’t help you pass the exam. You may have to learn a new way to study. Take advice from others who have done it before you. Be open to new suggestions.
  • Just when you think what you’ve learned doesn’t make sense, you see a patient and it all comes together.
  • Or you find another career path that makes more sense for you.
  • If you truly find this isn’t the path for you, find another one! There are lots of people who change careers (some may be in your class). Find something you like better and don’t force yourself to continue on a journey that isn’t for you.

Quotes

“You can eat the whole whale, you just have to take one bite at a time.”

John Hardman, M.D.

“If you like to read, medicine is the ultimate novel. You get to see the same person over again and this becomes a new chapter. Then you meet another family member and yet another chapter is had. The never ending story. . . .”

Lisa Seeber, M.D.

People I Can Talk To

  • Student counseling services: (612) 624-3323
  • Athena Diesch-Chham, 612-625-4168, diesc009@umn.edu
  • Dr. Erin Malone, 612-625-4762, malon001@umn.edu
  • Anyone in Academic and Student Affairs
  • GOALe mentor(s)
  • Any faculty you feel you can approach
  • Classmates, friends, and family
  • Your spiritual advisor

Career exploration

Final thought

No matter where you graduate in the class, what do they call you? DOCTOR. . . .

There are lots of paths out there.

——————-

If you hate working with people, [regular veterinary clinic practice] is not for you. Until the day our patients can start bringing themselves to the clinic and telling us what’s wrong, we have to rely on owners and be able to properly communicate with them.” [editors note: there are many career paths for you; most do involve other people]

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2020

Find your niche – this is the time to reach out to others with similar interests so you don’t feel like you’ve made a huge mistake”.

UMN CVM Student, Class of 2019

“I never questioned my choosing [med] school before entering, but every now and then, I’d wonder why I was working so hard when I saw friends making money, successful careers, and families. There are those moments, though, where I realized that I had chosen the most rewarding profession in the world. Those are the moments that I remind myself about when I’m having a hard time.”

JABSOM Student, Class of 2004

“You’re not abnormal if you’re questioning whether or not you belong in [med] school. Lots of people may at some point in their training, so reach out to others who feel the same way.”

JABSOM Student, Class of 2006

“In Unit 1, I often felt I may have not chosen the right career path for me. After talking to others in my support system and having experiences interacting with patients, I realized both that I was not alone and that I still loved medicine. Making good friends in the class who I could talk to about these issues also helped tremendously. By the time I was working on the wards in 3rd year, it didn’t seem to be as much of an issue because I realized how much I enjoyed being a doctor and that I could do the job just as well as anyone else.”

JABSOM Student, Class of 2006

“JABSOM [offers] many opportunities…to address these feelings. Reach out to the committed faculty here, to clinicians in the community …, and most of all, reach out to your fellow classmates because they [may be] going through the same thing.”

JABSOM Student, Class of 2007

License

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Well-being Handbook by Erin Malone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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