Advice from your future self – Veterinary edition

I Love Veterinary blog is reader-supported, and we may earn a commission from products purchased through links on this page, at no additional cost to you. Learn more About Us and our Product Review Process >

We decided to ask our awesome Facebook fans what kind of advice would they give themselves before starting their veterinary career with the experience and knowledge they have now. We got some interesting answers and we made a short video with the ones we liked the most.

On the video below you can see what we chose, and below the video, you can read all the rest of the comments on the question “Advice from your future self”.



  • Danielle Reinhardt: “I was in elementary school, always wanted to be a “doggie doctor” If I could write a letter to me, or would say, that we can’t save everything, but even if we save 1 thing, then it was all worth it. Oh….and yeah….. invest in Amazon!”
  • Miruts Gebre: “I haven’t any word to exppress about… Am so, lucky b/c am Vet.Med. employeed person.”
  • Jess Hennes: “I was 17, junior in high school, my farm kitty got injured and the doctors and technicians taught me how to do at home care and fell in love with it.❤️
    My advice:
    1. Shadow as much as you can and more than you can, be SURE this is what you want.
    2. Have a back up career because your body is not invincible and someday you won’t be able to lift the big ones.
    3. Be the voice for your animals. I was taught early on in college to fight for the animals, YOU can challenge your vet if you feel something needs help or something is wrong. That’s how you become good at what you do.
    4. Passion fatigue is a real thing, I didn’t understand at first until I had a few difficult cases in a row and I didn’t know what to do, reach out to people you feel are closest to you, talk about your day and how you can change it for the better in the future.
    5. Always have a pair of scrubs, socks, undergarments, and a deodorant stick. Some days will get messy/really gross.
    6. Know that it’s a passion career, but make sure it is worth it to you. “
  • Nikki Vilminot: “When I was 6. We lived on a small farm so I had many opportunities to watch the vets when they came out. I got my first job at 16 in a clinic and worked for them after I graduated. It’s been 20 years and I haven’t regretted it yet. I wish I had known all my options earlier though. I now work in research and am happier now than ever.”
  • Siobhan Alexander: “I’ve wanted to be a vet since I was 5 and my dog died of cancer but of course I didn’t understand how a “lump” made him so sick and decided I wanted to learn and understand and cure. Seeing practice has only increased my curiosity and I hope to be a veterinary oncologist someday.”
  • Ashley Cross: “When I was 4. I didn’t have any friends growing up or many people I could go to. I always had a way with animals that my family never had. They made sense to me more than people did and I learned very young that people can be cruel.
    I started when I was 16 as an assistant. Been an emergency and cardio tech. Now in school for my CVN license. If I could give myself advice it would be:
    1. Remove all ego. Ego never sits well in a team and you’ll never succeed alone.
    2. Be sure of what you know but always listen to other advice and ways of doing things. Medicine has no clear cut ways of doing things. Might as well learn and pick up a few tricks and friends on the way.
    3. Animal protection laws are still limited, do what you can but be more forgiving with yourself if things don’t turn out the way you want for them.
    4. Tell great stories and vent for the first 20 minutes you are home, after that drop it. Venting is needed but don’t “bring your work home” and let it ruin your home life.
    5. You gotta laugh or you’ll cry”
  • Candy Marie: “I don’t remember ever NOT wanting to be in the veterinary field. My advice to myself would be “don’t lift big dogs by yourself… no matter how awesome you think you are” ?”
  • Dana Martinez: “I was 5. Just seen the lion king, was in love with all animals and then I saw this amazing super-person on tv… Steve Irwin. He became my hero. I learned English. 20 years later, I studied another career because I listened to the people who told me “vets don’t have hearts, you won’t make enough money to eat, don’t do it, it doesn’t suit you, etc..” I’m 29 now… and I am a vet nurse in this country which means my knowledge is very basic and there are no job opportunities. There is no such thing as VA or VT here. Just vets and very underpaid people who have the role of VA but most of them are vet students. It’s extremely hard to find a job. I’d be absolutely proud of myself just to clean kennels or spend nights checking on patients. I discovered (too late) that the people who discouraged me were wrong. I don’t just think animals are cute, I like medicine, I like conservation, I’d like to have skills to make a difference, learn from the vets I admire, use my time in such a valuable way. It would be awesome. I hope I can do that before I get too old to even begin so my advice would be: believe in yourself, go against everyone, use your time wisely.”
  • Morgan Aadland: “I was 6 years old and I wanted to be a vet. That lasted up until my sophomore year of college when organic chemistry made me change my mind. By the middle of my junior year, I had decided on vet tech. I’ve been in the field only 2.5 years now. So far, all I’d tell myself is go school right away.”
  • Susan Elizabeth Williams: “I started when I was 16, been practicing as an RVT for the past 9 years but in the field half my life lol my advice would be-ask for help when lifting big animals (I felt like I had something to prove and while capable of lifting large animals on my own it’s not the smartest…). I’m sure I have more but blanking ?”
  • Ashliegh Girard: “Been a vet tech for 19 yrs , hard work not enough pay , but I’m passionate about the animals , my advice have a back up carrier??”
  • Kristen Sheley: “I’ve been an LVT for 10 years it was my second major in college… I was 21 and probably drunk because as much as I love my job I don’t think I’d do it again.. probably tell myself to keep my original major.”
  • Janet Bobicki: “Was a VA for 8 years. Advice to myself?? Be ok with working hard for very little money, you will be poor.”
  • Kait Hendrickson: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to accept help! Not everything needs to be done on your own. The clinic is a TEAM.”
  • Katrina Madsen Craig: “I was 14 and started at a local shelter, that was a loooonnngggg time ago. I guess I would tell my younger self to not waste time with toxic people and toxic cultures. Life’s too short to be miserable, and when you’re awesome it’s pretty easy to get a job!”
  • Megan Bottorff: “1) Always lift with a buddy over a certain weight. Wish I would’ve listened sooner. 2) Voice your concerns for your patients- it may seem like something small but it could help in the end. 3) Don’t let your client bully you. 4) If you aren’t happy where you know it’s okay to look elsewhere. 5) Have a stress relief outlet outside of work. You will need one at some point.”
  • Hilary Gaughen: “I was 23 when I started tech school in 1992. I would tell myself that it’s okay to not be perfect and to remember the 9 times I hit the vein instead of the 1 time I didn’t.”
  • Miranda May: “Keep traveling don’t feel pressured to have kids.”