I have come to understand that veterinary medicine is not a profession which is chosen, yet one which is propelled upon those deemed worthy. I am sure that many of you are familiar with the ability to say, “I just know,” and oh, how fortunate we are. I have always known. Being born and raised in a small town in the south means a suitable yard, resulting in our always having quite a large number of rescued animals. My family has welcomed the headcount to grow as long as the paycheck has allowed. I , of course, have never minded much; after all, it has allowed me to nurture my preferred kinship with animals. When asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew older, all I knew was that I wanted to work with my best friends, long before I learned the proper term of ‘veterinarian’. Back then, I had no comprehension of the up-hill journey it would be, but I have been in preparation my entire life.
Halfway through my high school career, I was offered a modeling contract in New York City. Knowing a contract like this would grant me the opportunity to save funds for school and travel, I doubled my credits for an early graduation and hopped on a flight to the city as a terrified sixteen-year-old, diploma in hand. Spending almost five years in the industry radically shaped my views toward myself and the world around me. I now carry myself with confidence, sophistication, and power instead of allowing fear to dictate how I build rapport with others. I am a strong woman ready to embrace the challenges of my educational journey, more-so than I ever would have been straight out of high school. The greatest reward of my modeling career, however, was the opportunity to learn from Zoltan Szabo, DVM, Dipl. ABVP(ECM) while on placement in Hong Kong.
My first day at Tai Wai Exotics with Dr. Zoltan was, indeed, a humbling one. All I had to offer was a mere eagerness to learn, in comparison to his more tenured students in their clinical rotations. His refusal to acknowledge this obvious fault created a very steep learning curve for me. Every day I spent at the clinic was different from the last. I stood by his side during surgical procedures and learned basic drug dosage calculations and administration. I observed what it was really like handling client visitations: the affection gained because of an animal healed, and how to hold composure with those clients which are seemingly impossible to reach. Dr. Zoltan’s faith in my ability ignited a fire in me that made it even more strenuous to ignore this calling once I returned to America and continued to model.
What an A+ day, definitely 10/10. Thanks to @dr.zoltan for taking me under your wing and letting me be your student while I’m here. You’re such an inspiration to me, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come. Two surgeries today (???? and ???? spay), and I HELD OVARIES IN MY HAND FOR THE FIRST TIME. #whatadream #vetmedicine #hellyeah
After my return to the United States, I decided to start a dog-walking company to attempt to fill the emptiness in my life that I so deeply felt. I kept my client relationships on a very personal level, and worked with dogs of all sizes. I rooted myself within the tightly-knit dog-loving community that is the East Village, and truly began enjoying myself again. I, however, knew I could do and be more. The gut-wrenching conviction remained until I finally realized that my time with the dogs was the only reason I could find to smile and stay in the city. While I am thankful for the opportunity to maintain healthy relationships with former clients, I am thrilled to now be starting a new chapter back home in South Carolina. I will be applying for Animal Science undergraduate programs in the fall, with hopes to continue into veterinary school. I truly have never felt more at ease about a decision. After all, this life I am living is no longer about me…this calling has never been about me in the first place.
What does it truly take to get into veterinary school? I kindly invite you all, especially high school graduates afraid of taking that next step, to follow me on this journey. Please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
If you liked this story, continue reading other Vet Student Stories!
Project dedicated to support and help to improve Veterinary Medicine. Sharing information and raising discussions in the veterinary community.