Table of Contents
- My Journey to Be a Veterinarian
- Connection with Animals and Owners as Part of Veterinarian Job
Like many others in the veterinary field, I expressed my affinity for animals early and often. My first memories are alive with curiosity about the animal world. From rescuing caterpillars off of busy sidewalks, to bringing home stray cats, I was constantly looking for ways to help animals in need. And like many young animal lovers, my first dream was to be a veterinarian. That's why I started to explore this profession, I got inspired by famous veterinary and their work, so there is no reason to ask me "Why do I want to be a veterinarian?", - it's evident! As the granddaughter of farmers, I was raised to be conscious of where my food comes from and to appreciate every meal. As I grew older, this value amalgamated with my love for animals, and my attention was directed toward the role of animals in food production.
My Journey to Be a Veterinarian
I became infatuated with learning about sustainable agriculture and raising livestock. I researched and became familiar with many of the local farms in my home state of New Jersey. I supported these farms by purchasing animal products and produce from local farmers’ markets as often as possible. Learning about these farming operations inspired me to want to be a part of the farming community. I was so certain I wanted to enter the world of farming, I applied almost exclusively to remarkably tiny farming colleges to study sustainable agriculture. Some offered only one major, while others had no textbook requirements, but instead instructed students to bring their own ax. In my senior year of high school, I took a class that provided students with the opportunity to explore a field or career of their interest through internships and hands-on experiences. I chose farming as my topic and began volunteering on a family-owned farm in my area. I assisted in land and crop maintenance, planting and harvesting, and livestock care.
I worked mainly with the chickens and goats, occasionally helping with the steer. I was tasked with managing hoof rot in a herd of goats, which involved hoof trims, foot baths, and thorough cleanings of enclosures. I watched as the does had their kids, and bottle-fed a few who were unable to nurse due to mastitis affecting the mothers. I enjoyed the physical labor, working outside, and getting dirty. I appreciated how growing crops increased my awareness of weather patterns and nature. I became cognizant of the interdependence between humans, animals, and the environment. But I most enjoyed working with the goats. The main thing is that I have never doubted and regretted my choice to start the veterinarian path and that's easy to answer the question: Why do I want to be a veterinarian? Because it's my purpose in life, my passion!
Connection with Animals and Owners as Part of Veterinarian Job
Taking part in the elimination of pain gave me a sense of purpose; watching their behaviors return to normal as they healed was extremely rewarding. Additionally, I became emotionally attached to the animals I worked with, and unsustainable behavior for a farmer. Working with these animals to provide them comfort reminded me of my childhood dream. I realized I would rather work with animals in a medical context to ensure their health and wellbeing. After this realization, I immersed myself in the veterinary world. I started working in veterinary hospitals and began to pursue my bachelor's in veterinary technology in the most hands-on program I could find. It did not take long for me to know I had made the right decision. In the veterinary field, I no longer felt the need to repress my compassion, as it was now encouraged. I enjoyed working closely with each animal and evaluating them as individual patients. I was also surprised to discover how much I enjoyed interacting with clients.
Connecting with owners establishes a sense of trust which can alleviate some of their concerns during times of stress. Providing comfort to both animals and their humans allows me to exercise my compassionate nature and satisfies my desire to do work I find meaningful. As I progressed through the veterinary technology program, I realized I craved the intellectual challenges of the medical field as much as I found gratification in caring for animals. While I learned about physiology and clinical pathology, I became fascinated with how clinicians identify disease processes by piecing together abnormal findings.
The diagnostic process felt like a puzzle that I was eager to learn how to solve. The more I learned about veterinary medicine, the more I wanted to learn. This unquenchable thirst for information inspired me to further my education and continue on to veterinary school. My love for animals has remained a constant as I have grown. What started as a childlike wonder for non-human creatures, developed into a powerful passion to care for all beings on this earth. My exploration of alternative career paths involving animals confirmed what I knew as a small child: I was meant to be a veterinarian. While it was a childhood dream that guided me to this path, it is my matured aspirations that are fueling my drive to become a veterinarian.