Short info about yourself
My name is Julie Vasilyeva, I am 29 years old. I graduated vet school in 2017. I currently live in Queens and work in a small animal general practice in Garden City Park, Long Island.
Why did you decide to become a vet?
I have always loved animals ever since I was a little girl. I would always pretend to be a vet when I was little and would bring home every creature I found. I had a Doberman Pinscher growing up named Nika. When she turned 5 years old, she developed a condition called Wobbler’s Syndrome which is a condition seen in mostly Dobermans and Great Danes.
Unfortunately, her vet at the time was unfamiliar with this condition and by the time her diagnosis was finally established, she had deteriorated severely. The loss of Nika motivated me to study hard so that I could eventually go to veterinary school and help dogs.
Where did you study? Say something about your vet school
I went to school at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. I absolutely loved my school and recommend it to anybody who is applying to veterinary school. Not only was the campus absolutely stunning but the faculty really treated us like family.
They truly cared about us not only passing our classes and boards but also truly cared about us personally. I felt that the education I received at VMCVM was outstanding and prepared me well for my boards and practice once I graduated.
Additionally, if you are active and outdoorsy, the surrounding areas have amazing hikes with absolutely breathtaking views!
What does your veterinary work include?
I am a general practitioner for dogs and cats. My work ranges from preventative care to treat a multitude of illnesses as well as surgery. As general practitioners, we do it all! I see a first time puppy one minute, then treating dermatology conditions and managing endocrine cases the next!
What made you decide to be a general practitioner?
I find that as a general practitioner, I get to do a little bit of everything. There were so many specialties I enjoyed being a part of during my clinical rotations. There are disease processes I find interesting in each field that I couldn’t pick just one to do for the rest of my life.
What do you do in your free time? If you have any 🙂
In our profession, it is important to make free time for your hobbies and passions! I ride and take care of my horse on my early days/days off. It’s such a great reset and stress reliever!
What part of your job are you most passionate about?
There are so many things! Of course, my favorite part of the job is being able to help very sick pets and watching them go from obviously feeling awful to perking up and going home. There’s nothing sadder than when a dog who always bites you doesn’t even attempt to, you know they’re sick.
That first time they try to bite you again when they’re feeling better makes me so happy! I love seeing all the unique personalities and I love being able to build relationships with not only the pet but also the owners.
What are your plans/goals for the future?
Eventually, I would love to open my own practice but for now, I am just continuing to learn as much as I can and expand my knowledge!
Do you have a specific area that you would like to specialize in the future or take interest in currently?
I am in the process of getting certified in acupuncture for pets. I believe that holistic pain relief is underused and can make a world of difference for some pets. I have had normally highly aggressive dogs at the vet begin to wag their tails when they see me and allow me to perform acupuncture on them without a muzzle because they begin to associate me with feeling good!
Do you have any advice for our readers?
Follow your passion no matter what it is. If you love what you do, you truly will never work a day in your life. Make sure you work in many different fields and with different species (companion, equine, food, exotic, etc.) before/during vet school, it will make the decision of whether or not you specialize much easier!
Also, never stop learning!! Take courses, electives and sign up for continuing education as much as you can. Every person you encounter in your path to becoming a vet you can learn something from.