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The Veterinary School Tips Every Student Needs To Know

So you’ve made it to vet school. Congratulations!

After a lot of hard work, you’ve got that vet school offer and are now working towards a fulfilling and exciting career. But getting through vet school and reaching your academic goals isn’t a simple feat- the work is far from over!

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the top advice from the brightest and best on what they think you should know about vet school- and how you can make it through with your sanity intact.

Read on to check out our veterinary school tips.

Dr. Lianne Mellin

Dr. Lianne is a mixed-practice General Practitioner, and a recent graduate from the University of Queensland, Australia.

When it comes to vet school, she encourages students to get fully involved in student life.

‘I think it’s important for new vet students to embrace all sides of vet school – not just study! By joining different groups and going to events, they’re able to work on soft skills which are so helpful when you’re working as a vet… and vet school is way more fun!’

She also thinks it is important for students to be confident- something that can be difficult when you’re also surrounded by highly driven and talented students.

‘Have you ever looked at a final year vet student or a clinician and thought: how am I ever going to know as much information as they do? Because I have.’

‘I have been there. I have doubted myself year after year. I know how it feels.’

‘But, I have also realized my accomplishments. I want you to think back to the very first day you started vet school (or whatever journey you are on). How much more information do you know now than you did then? It’s empowering, isn’t it?!’

Niamh Dunne-Mason

Niamh Dunne-Mason is a mature veterinary student at Nottingham Vet School, England.

When it comes to veterinary school tips, Niamh advises students to take their revision seriously from the get-go.

‘Start making notes and revision material from day one. The worst thing I found was falling behind with work and having months to catch up on.’

‘The earlier you get on top of it, the better you’ll feel about doing work. It’s inevitable that some lectures will get missed but the earlier you start, you’re giving yourself the best chance’

Dr. May Yean Chua

Dr. May Yean is a recent graduate from the University of Cambridge, England.

When it comes to vet school, Dr. May believes planning is key.

‘Get a planner to stay organized, be it a physical planner or a phone app, schedule in your lectures, practicals, and also social time to make the most of your time during university.’ she says.

‘Try not to stress about learning everything! You’ll soon realize that there is an infinite amount of material to learn in veterinary medicine.’

‘Also prepare to make mistakes! Adopt the growth mindset and embrace failure. You won’t get things right the first time (clinical skills, exams, etc) and that is okay! Any mistakes made is a building block towards getting better at that topic and skill, and the more you do that topic or skill, the better and more confident you’ll become.’

Dr. Moriah McCauley

Dr. Moriah McCauley is a graduate of the Royal (dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is now working back in her native US.

Dr. McCauley implores students to get a mentor to help them through vet school (and beyond) early on in their careers.

‘You should always strive for these three forms of mentorship at any given point in your career, to ensure you are continually developing.’

‘You should have a mentor who is more experienced/knowledgeable than you, a mentee who is someone less experienced/knowledgeable than you, and also a peer mentor, who is someone on the same level.’

Dr. McCauley also stresses the importance of proper self-care.

‘How you care for yourself now (in vet school) is setting up patterns to how you will care for yourself after graduation.’

‘Learn to recognize the limits of your comfort zones. It’s the first step in understanding when you can further challenge yourself or when you need to take a step back.’

Amanda Thompson

Amanda is a 3rd-year vet student at the Ontario Veterinary College, Canada. She has an interest in Dentistry and Small Animal Surgery.

Though she loves student life, she warns vet students about not becoming too consumed by their studies

‘Vet school is an important part of your life, but it isn’t your whole life.’

‘Don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy life outside of the program!’

Jess Cliffe

Jess is a vet student at Massey University, New Zealand.

In her experience, it can be really easy to get caught up in the pressures of vet school.

‘I know there have been many days and weeks in the past 4 years where I have woken up extremely cynical, not wanting to do any work, or feeling like doing the bare minimum just to get by. It can be really hard to shift this mindset because at times it is a really difficult degree.’

‘Despite the many assignments, the exams, the long days, the placements – continue to keep in mind that every challenge is teaching you how to be the best vet you can be.’

‘I know it can be hard to see the bright side sometimes, but every test gets you closer to your dreams. Just by being a vet student, you are being incredibly kind and selfless, dedicating your time to learn about and help animals who cannot help themselves. Don’t lose sight of that.’

Are you currently in veterinary school? Why not get your hands on Dr. Dave's book for graduates and start planning your next steps?

Buy a copy or download an ebook here.


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