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Saint George Vet: Why Vet Med?

14 Jun

As you can tell, I’m still cleaning out the files on my computer.  I have a seemingly endless supply of essays outlining why I want(ed) to be a veterinarian and why I would make a good one.  I guess it’s good, because sometimes I assume you readers know how much of a champion I am of veterinary medicine.  And I guess since you don’t know me, you may not know.  Since I have written so many criticisms about the field as of late, maybe it’s a good balance.  And I think it shows I have a leg to stand on when I make assertions that the profession isn’t perfect (none are), but how it could be improved.  Or maybe you’re just bored and wish I’d get through all these admissions essays already (sorry).  I’ll try to make a real post soon, as I have an exciting project coming up that I want to share.  But until then, I have more:

Please discuss the most significant factors which led to your decision to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. Approximately 250 words.

I feel most rewarded when I am involved in veterinary medicine. At age eleven, I began accruing volunteer hours at the local veterinary hospital. This experience provided me with knowledge of the career, and cemented my aspirations of 1st day of work everbecoming a veterinarian.

Gaining exposure to the veterinary care of exotic animals is exciting. I was able to help Dr. Minor vaccinate a pack of wolves for a local security compound. At Noah’s Ark I have been able to observe ferret adrenalectomies, rabbit neuters, and helped treat birds, reptiles, and other small mammals. I gained exposure to larger exotics when I volunteered numerous hours at Animal Sanctuary, cleaning the enclosures of tigers, a lion, and a panther.

I love the veterinary profession and aim to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I learned the work can be physically grueling, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining, but I am prepared to compensate with the athleticism, analytical competence, and rationality that I have seen my veterinary mentors display. I would be luckypersonally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting.

One day I hope to own a mixed animal practice in a rural area, where I can raise the level of animal care while keeping costs reasonable. I plan to provide high availability to my clients and to see a variety of species. I want, more than ever, to become a doctor of small animal medicine, with an emphasis on exotics.

Saint George Vet: Issues

9 Jun

What are the most significant issues facing your chosen area of study?

There are many issues important to public health. Some of the most pertinent issues of today are zoonotic disease, food safety, and disaster preparedness. Combining talents of veterinarians and public health professions, will help alleviate the effects of these issues on not only domestic fronts, but worldwide.

Veterinarians strive to eliminate disease in animals, especially Zoonotic diseases that are also communicable to people. Treating the effects of disease is essential to combating the spread of sickness, but more effective is avoiding the disease in the first place. Prevention is a crucial element in combating zoonotic disease, as understanding viral and bacterial life cycles can help prevent human behaviors which may promote diseases. Collaboration of agricultural producers, veterinarians, safety inspectors, and law enforcement is critical to eliminating such disease threats.

Food borne diseases are another area of concern to society. Veterinarians and public health officials help educate the public, producers, and politicians making laws to help keep food borne illness and disease at bay. The public health industry also strives to implement environmentally friendly livestock operations. Again, coordination of experts is crucial in combating issues pertaining to keeping the food supply, and the environment, which that food is produced, safe. These efforts lead to better health for citizens and a safe, healthy environment for everyone to enjoy. Efforts to raise agricultural and environmental standards boost the food supply, making food available to more people around the world. Raising the standard of living on a global scale by implementing safer farming practices is a win-win situation for everyone.

Another area of concern to both veterinarians and public health officials is disaster preparedness. Interactions involving emergency forces, producers, veterinarians, and lawmakers can help people in both the United States and worldwide deal with unforeseeable events. Prevention and simultaneous development of standard operating procedures can prepare us for imminent danger. If subsequent damage does occur from the incident, a plan for recovery emphasizing teamwork and communication should be in place.

Important issues such as zoonotic disease, agricultural safety, and disaster preparedness crucial to public health and veterinary medicine can be combated with collaboration of experts in both fields.

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Saint George Vet: Interview Prep

8 Jun

6. What is your favorite leadership?

Laurel's pics 233I have participated in many leadership opportunities including being captain of my cheerleading team for 3 years, helping diverse children in an alcohol and drug free safe space, working with senior citizens in National Honor Society, and participating in a session at Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center with disabled people.
My favorite leadership was when I held offices in the pre-vet club. I was in the club every year of college, and acted as social chair for 2 years and vice president this last year. It’s my favorite leadership, because many people were wary of the club and could not see the benefits of being involved. I think, just like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. I tried my best to help turn the club around, and therefore had a great experience.

7. What has your greatest achievement been?

I’m proud of all of the volunteer hours I have accrued, both in the veterinary setting and around my community. I made a concerted effort to gain experience in veterinary hospitals and succeeded in accumulating 728 hours following veterinarians one on one. I have also spent quite a bit of time helping children, the disabled, and senior citizens in both Nevada and Missouri. In high school, I was awarded with 8 scholarships, many recognizing my volunteer efforts.

8. What is your greatest strength?

My enthusiasm is my greatest strength. I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was little, and took steps to achieve that goal starting at a young age. I was so excited to get into the career that I volunteered over 600 hours at small animal hospitals. I have also worked at small animal hospitals continuously since 2001. My enthusiasm was not limited to small storm spiritanimals. I jumped at every opportunity to gain experience with other species. I helped Dr. Minor vaccinate wolves and went with our relief veterinarian to Sierra Biomedical to see what lab animal veterinarians do on a daily basis. I went with the Chapmans to see a swine facility and helped them vaccinate the staff’s horses. Other staff at Noah’s Ark worked with animals, so I volunteered to help vaccinate, deworm, and castrate sheep as well as volunteered with large exotics at Animal Sanctuary. I got experience with horses working at Equine Medical Services and observed large animal medicine at Comstock Large Animal Hospital. Currently, I am working with pigs, rats, and frogs on environmental physiology aspects of several studies at the animal science research center.

9. What has been the greatest lesson from your volunteer experience/job?

Through my varied experiences in the veterinary field, I have learned that working long hours 7 days a week is normal. I have regularly worked on holidays at all my jobs and understand I will not make as much as a dentist. I have realistic expectations about my future as a veterinarian and am excited to work hard for as long as I am able.

10. What is your biggest weakness?

I am not independently wealthy. To compensate, I got scholarships, worked one or more jobs, and secured loans to pay for my living expenses and education.

11. What are your plans if you do not get in this year?

I will apply to Ross because my first career choice is still veterinary medicine. While I’m waiting to hear from them, I will pursue a masters degree.

12. What is a failure or disappointment and how did you deal with it?

The fact that I did not get accepted to veterinary school my first two tries is disappointing. Instead of getting discouraged and bitter, I took the advice of the veterinary school and tried to increase my undergraduate GPA and course load this last semester. I went to Nevada to take advantage of a scholarship I still have. The situation in NV was far from ideal: I lived in my boss’ yard with no heat or water, and had to drive 400 miles a week to attend class and observe at a large animal hospital. I made it through the less than optimal situation and still want to be a veterinarian more than ever!

13. Why are you the best candidate?

I moved to Missouri to gain residency because I heard that the veterinary school had a good reputation and offered a Laurel's pics 660superior education. I obviously want to be a veterinarian, because I have been involved in the field since I was in 5th grade and this is the 3rd time I have applied to school. I will not change my mind about my career aspirations or flake out and transfer to a different school or drop out altogether—I’m in this for the long haul. I want to further the profession of veterinary medicine by offering my clients affordable prices, an elevated standard of medicine, and extended hours of availability. I plan to practice in a rural town as long as I am able to work.

15. Do you have anything to add to your application?

I’ve been very busy this semester. I resumed my position at Noah’s Ark and I’m helping with environmental physiology at the animal science research center. I am helping collect and input heat stress data on pigs. I also work with rodents to see how diet affects temperature regulation. I’m also taking a class on veterinary terminology with Dr. Chastain.

14. Any final questions or comments?

Throw in question answers if they weren’t asked.

My extensive experience with animals has only confirmed my lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. I have worked in veterinary hospitals since 1995, in the capacity of observer, volunteer, kennel help, barn crew, assistant student researcher, receptionist, and technician. I love every moment of my time spent in animal settings and would be personally unfulfilled if I could not be a veterinarian.

My ability to work with people, handle stressful situations with grace, and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to a project is evident in my sports involvement. Being awarded tournament player in volleyball, getting third in my state for pole vault, and being named varsity captain of the cheerleading team for three seasons were helpful in developing my character. Working as a part of a team taught me the lifelong skills of strong work ethic, acting as a leader as well as being WSU pumpkina member of a team, and competitive drive to better myself, that will serve me well in the veterinary profession.

I have also been in leadership positions outside of sports, serving as both freshmen secretary and treasurer and junior class representative in high school. I was also one of six students chosen to serve on the resident hall association’s judicial board, which sanctioned or removed difficult tenants.

The eight scholarships I was awarded in high school proves that I have the intellect to excel in a veterinary program. Though I spent a lot of time doing extracurricular activities during school, I received the Academic Athlete award, given to students who maintain a high grade point average while participating in an athletic season, all 11 seasons I was part of a team.

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Saint George Veterinary Personal Statement

6 Jun

I don’t remember writing this, and I certainly don’t remember stressing out about it like I did for WSU and now for AuD programs.  But I’m deleting files off my computer and thought I should save this somewhere.  Maybe it can help me now. . .

Grenada 32

Personal Statement: Please provide personal information that is otherwise not included in the application. Maximum 1500 words.


I am driven to gain as much animal experience as possible.  Since 1995, I have consistently been involved in veterinary hospitals, accruing 633 hours in direct contact with veterinarians.  I have been continuously employed in small animal hospitals for the last eight years.  As an employee of Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital and Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and Bird Clinic, I have gained valuable knowledge of the career and vast technical experiences with various companion animals.  Holding positions of kennel cleaner, receptionist, and technician has enabled me to learn how every area of a veterinary hospital is managed.  Cleaning, answering phones, rooming owners, and performing diagnostics, including radiographs and blood panels, on a daily basis has raised my competence level in a veterinary setting.  In addition to exceptional performance on routine tasks, my responsibilities as a veterinary technician included performing treatments on hospital patients and updating hospital records.  I can also prepare for surgery and monitor anesthetic, and regularly monitor pre-operative and post-surgery patients. I have observed and assisted in both soft and hard tissue surgeries, countless elective procedures, and in several complicated cases during my time at small animal hospitals.


My passion for the profession of veterinary medicine is not limited to the confines of a veterinary hospital.  I was instrumental in implementing service learning for school credit in my county. I accomplished this by creating a presentation on my volunteer time at D.V.V.H.  to the school board. The presentation was well received and the board adopted the service-learning program in high schools across the county. Another veterinary-related presentation that shows my enthusiasm for the career was my presentation on my summer internship at Noah’s Ark. I articulated my new knowledge to freshmen in the Department of Animal Science at University of Missouri. Opportunities like these demonstraight the passion I feel for the career of veterinary medicine, as well as showcase my capacity for working with the public.


I possess people skills, which will help me work with clients, employees, and colleagues as a practicing veterinarian.  My job as a veterinary receptionist proves that I have the communication skills necessary to speak to clients and educate them on animal health issues.  My service-oriented job in a restaurant prepared me for the field of veterinary medicine where I will need to remember a vast amount of information and communicate with people.


My work with the public is not limited to paid positions.  I have been consistently involved in community service since high school.  My compassion and patience are evident through my work with children, the disabled, and the elderly, as well as my experience teaching clogging classes to all ages.  My work with the community, coupled with my academic success, multiple leadership experiences, and good citizenship, enabled me to acquire scholarship funding for much of my education as well.


I was financially independent from my parents for the duration of my college career, working a minimum of twenty hours a week, while taking twelve to sixteen credits.  While employed by University of Missouri’s Animal Science Department I worked with dairy cattle.  My part in the heat stress research was collecting temperature data, and grinding, measuring and weighing grain to check how heat stress effects feed intake.  I also helped with wider care of the animals, milking twice a day and cleaning.  The highlight of the job was when I observed a biopsy.


My second University job was through the Environmental Physiology Department, where my duties included caring for the department’s rat colony.  In addition to feeding and cleaning the rodents, I was able to conduct a feed trial, comparing base feed intake with feed intake after feeding ergovaline-infused pellets.  My responsibilities for the department also included helping with hog heat stress research and the wider care of the porcine.  I monitored farrowing animals, processed piglets, vaccinated the weaned piglets, and was able to observe the veterinarian conduct ultrasounds on the gestation sows.


Working with dairy cattle and hogs as well as my achievements in volleyball, cheerleading, and track show that I display athletic prowess.  My history of sports participation also shows I am capable of the responsibility, dedication, and drive required of both athletes and veterinarians.  Physical adeptness was essential when I worked with horses.  For two years in a row, Dr. Chapman let me help her vaccinate and pull blood for Equine Infectious Anemia testing on employees’ horses.  Additionally, I acquired one thousand horse hours working at Equine Medical Services, Inc. as part of barn crew.  My duties included cleaning stalls, bedding, feeding, and medicating horses twice a day, as well as maintaining the facilities.  Catching horses for their pregnancy checks and watching ultrasounds taught me how to confidently interact with horses and restrain them.


I was able to see multiple veterinarians deal with a wide variety of equine cases when I observed for seventy-five hours at Comstock Large Animal Hospital.  I saw feet trimming, lameness exams, and radiographs. I observed the veterinarians treat lesions and lacerations, allergies, and colic. I was able to assist the veterinarian with a horse getting its teeth floated, a gastroscopy, and a necropsy.  During my time at Comstock, I saw the veterinarians conduct fertility and brucellosis tests on beef bulls, vaccinate, castrate, and trim the feet of five llamas, and vaccinate a pig and trim its feet.  I also helped a co-worker feed, vaccinate, deworm, castrate, and trim the feet of her twenty-five herding sheep.


Working extensively with animals in veterinary settings has given me the experience necessary to excel in a veterinary practice.

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Funding [11-8-08]

9 Jan


I FINALLY got into vet school, but am having trouble raising enough money to go. The liberal tuition expense  is around $22,000 a term. My non-generous school loan covers tuition only. . .
On top of that, I have to pay generously for a plane ticket to get there, get housing, pay for manditory health insurance, get vaccinated (the 3 rabies vaccines alone are $663!), not to mention afford food while I’m there!  The fees are lavish.
To defray costs, I had the progressive idea of  making a cook book as a fund-raiser. This is where you come in: Submit any amazing recipies to me via a myspace/facebook message or e-mail. Your open-mindedness will be credited appropriately in the book, and would be helping me a lot!
Oh, and later, you (and your broad-minded, bounteous friends) can buy a book that has your own munificent creation featured 🙂 Stellar for all!



I take that back [posted 8-3-09]

17 Jan

that last blog stating I had a co-signer for my vet school loan, that is.


If you think it’s obnoxious how my blog content has wavered back and fourth, imagine my life.  One hour, everything is going to work out, the next, it’s no veterinary school at all.  The main reason is tht the school is faltering.  They will not give any facts–defiantly not in a timely manner!  They have the audacity to treat me like a nuisance when I ask what the scene is.  This loan situation and the remedy’s for it seem to fluctuate by the minute.  My nerves are at breaking-point.  It is exhausting not knowing what even next week holds for me.  While I absolutely do not want to forgo veterinary school, especially when it is so close to being a realized dream, I can’t stand this dithering for much longer.

My newest dilemma is that the other incoming student got scared and backed out of our concurrent co-signing agreement/scheme.  She will be deferring to the next semester–which leaves me at square one:  No co-signer, no loan=no vet school.

The paradox is JUST when I was starting to relax and be excited, the dream was yanked away from me again.  The parents still won’t co-sign.  It’s quite the contradiction:  I don’t need anyone with good credit–as a matter of fact it’s preferable I get someone with nothing to lose to co-sign my loan application.  The goal here is to be denied the Sallie Mae loan so I can apply for the in school loan being offered.

I don’t know what to do, there is much ambiguity about my next step and I am quickly running out of time.

Why, why, why???!!!!!!!!

False Alarm [posted 8-2-09]

17 Jan

At least, I think.

I’m still not eligible to get the Sallie Mae loan without a co-signer.  I still have no viable co-signer.  BUT the school is now offering a loan to students who are rejected for the Sallie Mae loan with a co-signer.  This loan will cover tution and housing, which is all I need since I have been working my ass off for the last year, fundraising, and proving my nonconformity and outside-the-box thinking by selling my body parts.  Of course, I am very circumspect about what the school will actually follow through with.  They have been less than helpful during this loan crises, so my prudence is warranted.

I have worked out a deal with one of the other mavrick incoming students who also couldn’t get a co-signer.  We will co-sign each other’s Sallie Mae loan knowing we will both be denied.  Upon rejection, we are both eligable for the school’s loaan-yay!  Are idea is revolutionary–how could it go wrong!  We are both in the same loan boat, and don’t want to miss the boat to the island, so we are cautiously going ahead with the only plan we have.  And neither one of us is a risk for losing anything, given we are each other’s collateral.

I still think the school sucks for putting me through that stress the last 2 weeks.  They were not heedful of this terrible situation in time, and as a consequence it is my butt on the line!  It has made me very iconoclast especially towards foreign private schools, airlines, and a financial “counselors” a.k.a. hacks who do nothing.  I would be wary to ever apply to a foreign school again, especially if it is non-accredited, and for-profit.  There is no excuse to run a business so haphazardly!  I am also fairly solicitousness in how much trust I place in my parents.  When stress gets high, they are known to retract their support (monetary or otherwise) and protect themselves, beyond reason.  I won’t soon forget their lack of sensitivity during such a trying time.  I’ll probably never really trust them again. . .  And I know, I’ll NEVER, NEVER fly on American Airlines again.  I should have been more mindful of how willing they are to rip people off before I purchased advanced tickets.  I swear, I will remember this whole episode and be vigilant about avoiding those that have wronged me!

At the same time, this is my one guaranteed path to vet school and I’m sure going to take it if I can.  I will remain alert about any and all funding options, and just hope and pray that things will work out.  So cross your fingers that my rebel scheme will work out and I can go to the island next Saturday!

So Close. . . [posted 7-28-09]

17 Jan

And yet so far away.  As you know I was finally accepted to veterinary school.  I was all set to fly to the Caribbean on August 8. I had been planning for this move to a foreign country for the last year.  I had 3 international flights paid for.  I had packed all my belongings in boxes, paid a year of storage, quit my job, and moved halfway across the country (with my cats) to my parents’ house.

You can see where this is going.  Yesterday, I found I cannot attend vet school.  Yet another refutation to my big dream!  The school waited until last week to tell us about our only loan option.  Nothing could appease my anger at their mismanagement and lackadaisical attitude over this huge problem of financing an education.  I would like to share polemic against this whole situation with everyone who will listen:  Despite my 720 credit, I was denied any loan without a co-signer.

My parents REFUSE to sign.  As you may expect not much could pacify my hostility over this apathy on their part.  Relatives and family friends, not only don’t have a responsibility for my well-being, they have poor credit, other obligations or dependents, or fears of losing their house in this economy.  Towards former employers and family friends, I have noantipathy.  Mostly I’m humiliated at having to present the argument they should co-sign my loan in the first place. . .  Extended family, especially those well-to-do have earned a little of my contempt, but I’m certain it will be mollified when this episode becomes a bad memory.  Anyway, without a loan, I can’t make the required $50,000 for a year of tuition, housing, books, island amenities, etc. . .

I have failed at my dream of becoming a veterinarian—again.  I’m starting to wonder if the universe is against me.  Everything had been going so well, my 26th birthday was going to be a new start.  Now, I’m devastated, lost, back at square one.  This hurts so much that I don’t think the pain will ever be assuaged.  To make matters worse, my mom kicked me out of their house by August 24.  She has to put her craft materials in my old bedroom, you know.  MUCH more important than letting me get back on my feet!  I may remain on speaking terms with her this time, but my reticence isn’t pacified.  This (unearned)denunciation is one of many, and a person has to draw the line somewhere.

Now I’m in controversy.  I have no home, no job, no career, and I’m not sure where to go from here.  I just know I need to conciliate the anger and pain (for the short-term) and do whatever I’m going to do quickly!