Tag Archives: Saint George

Saint George Vet: Public Health

30 Jun

Public Health Essays:

If you have experience in the area you wish to study, describe that experience.

I volunteered once a week in the organic chemistry stock room when I was a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno. I measured, prepared, and mixed solutions for student labs, transferred chemicals into bottles under the hood, checked lab materials out to students, re-stocked chemicals after labs, and washed dishes. I was trained to handle hazardous chemicals, spills, and waste in the laboratory environment, as well as the importance of lab procedure.

Chem lab-not mineMy semester volunteering in a laboratory setting gave me an advantage in my chemistry classes and gave me the motivation and confidence to pursue a minor in chemistry. Taking an additional chemistry lecture and four-hour laboratory to obtain that chemistry minor gave me the analytical skills and laboratory techniques necessary to excel in any research situation.

I have worked in animal laboratory settings as well. Besides my research jobs at University of Missouri, I was able to accompany Dr. Sharp on his rounds at Charles River Laboratories. He checked the stools of Cynomolgus macaques, Cynomolgus rhesus, and marmosets, looked for lesions and possible research-ending health problems, and prescribed medication. I was able to remove sutures from one of the primates and feed crackers to the monkeys in the group pens.

My background in chemistry and my extensive animal experience will enable me to pursue veterinary jobs in public health. Earning a concurrent degree would help me build knowledge and confidence in areas such as monitoring the production of vaccinations and antibiotics as they are researched, developed, and tested for use in both animals and people.

Typical of Saint George Vet: Interview Schedule

7 Jun


Hello —-,


The  Board of Admissions is pleased to invite you to attend an interview as

the  next  stage  in  your application to St. George’s University School of

Veterinary Medicine.


Your  interview will take place in Stillwater, OK.  It will be conducted by

Patrick Morgan, DVM, a representative for St. George’s University School of

Veterinary  Medicine.    Dr. “old dude” will be contacting you to arrange for a

convenient  date  and time to interview.  He will also furnish you with the

directions at that time.


While  the  primary  goal  of the interview is to assess the attributes and

motivations  of  the  veterinary  school  candidate,  this  is  the perfect

opportunity  for  you  to  learn  more about our facilities and programs as

  1. I  am  sure  that you have already given thoughtful consideration to

many  aspects  of  a  veterinary  medicine  education, and we would like to

encourage  you  to  address  any  specific  questions about St. George’s in

particular directly to us.



Please note that at the start of your interview, you will be asked to write

a  brief personal essay. You will be given about 10 to 15 minutes to answer

one out of three questions. The questions are based on personal experiences

or  motivations.  The essay is a great opportunity to tell us a little more

about you.


Once you have confirmed your arrangements, please inform me via email.


Thank  you for your cooperation and interest in St. George’s University. We

look forward to meeting you.




Admissions Counselor

U.S. Admissions


St. George’s University

N American Correspondence

C/o University Support Services LLC

One East Main Street

Bay Shore, NY 11706

Good afternoon, [not my name]. I am back from Grenada and trying to set my calendar for the remainder of September. Please send me a list of dates you can come to Stillwater with your preferences in order. I will schedule a date as close to your first choice as possible. I look forward to talking with you about your chosen career.
“old dude,” DVM



Good morning, [my actual name, thank you]. You get 1st choice, Sept 23rd. Let me know whether you would like to interview morning or afternoon and, if you have a specific time that is best for you, let me know. I will not make other commitments on the 23rd until I know your preferences. I have your application papers so you don’t need to bring any of that. You should prepare an outline of how you will finance your 4 year DVM program.

Do you want me to make a motel reservation for you or send you the telephone numbers of local motels? I look forward to talking with you.

old dude, DVM
Adjunct Professor, SGU/SVM

Hello ——,

A final determination can take up to 4 to 6 weeks depending on how often
the Board meets and how competitive your file is. Feel free to contact me
for any updates after your interview.

Admissions Counselor

I’m starting to panic. This vet school interview isn’t scheduled yet. My guy is not dependable at all. He put this off until September, forgot to call, didn’t even remember me when I called, pretended that he was planing on calling me that day, then blew me off and never called back. I don’t know if I should pester him and make him angry, or wait, or change my interview location. . . Then, I see people are getting accepted for January, possibly taking my scholarships, and they had to wait a month after their interview to find out! I feel powerless and stressed!

I need to calm down. I can’t do the interview for at least 2 weeks anyone. During that time, I will have my surgery and make $3,000 to fund my education. I can also have time to plan the trip and get dad together if necessary. That leaves me about 14 weeks, or four months to get my shit together. That’s plenty of time. I can fly Gandhi to Nevada and be there for Nevada day. Then, I can go back to Missouri, work and pack the rest of my apartment. Since everything is already in storage it won’t take long. I can clean the apartment and be done. The lease doesn’t run out until the end of December.

What else needs to be done before I go to another country? I need to sell some stuff, but I typed a list yesterday. Today I should look on the newspapers and see how to post an add. Going to Nevada later than Halloween won’t be so bad—I’ll make more money at my job, not pay for an empty apartment, and only have the chance to fight with my parents for 7 weeks. That’s plenty of time to spend with my parents. It’s over the holidays. As long as I’m there by Thanksgiving it will work out fine. If I’m here, I can moake money, study in peace, and write my book. That’s good.

This is fine I only need to know by October 20 if I’m going. A week to make my plane reservation. You know, I can actually make that reservation to fly Gandhi as soon as I can pay for it. I need to start communication with Aunt Linda to see about Choco-luv first. Ok, no worries. This gives me a chance to practice interview questions and write essays. Ok, sell stuff, write Aunt Linda, get rid of some stuff and maybe start cleaning empty parts of my apartment. Get dad’s train route, and my driving route.

Good morning, —–. Anytime 9 to 10 AM would be best for me. Let me know where you will be staying as some of the motels have very good places to have a private conversation and some do not. If you are staying in one of the latter, we will talk in my home office. I retired from Okla. State in 1995 and thus have no university office.

As to your writing assignment, you are correct in that I cannot tell you specifics except that you will be given your choice of three questions relating to the veterinary profession.
This is designed to be spontaneous and of short duration. From what I have seen in your application you should have no problem with this assignment.

Usually the SGU Registrar’s Office does not tell the applicant anything about the interviewer, but the interviewer knows quite a bit about the applicant. My career is a testimony to the many opportunities available to veterinarians. I have been a veterinarian 50 years and married to the same lady 50 years. DVM from UGeorgia 1958, 4 years with USDA, MPH from Tulane Medical Center 1963, 2 years US Army, DrPH Tulane 1968, 1 yr clinician in Tulane Medical School laboratory animal facility, 5 years faculty/administrator in Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 23 years combined work with OK Dept. of Public Health, OKU School of Public Health, OKStateU School of Veterinary Medicine, 1 yr faculty/administrator Ross U SVM St. Kitts W.I., 2 yrs owner/clinician small animal out patient clinic in South Louisiana, last 2+ years part-time consultant with St. George’s U/SVM. There; more than you ever wanted to know.

My interviews usually are 1 to 2 hrs depending on how many questions the applicant asks me.

I look forward to talking with you on the 23rd. My Stillwater telephone # is —–.

old dude, DVM

Good morning, —–. I need to meet with you a little earlier than we had planned; 8:30 AM in the lobby of the Fairfield if this works for you. If not, please call me at—–.

Patrick Morgan, DVM

Hello ——,

Are you still interested in applying to our school, I haven’t heard from
you in quite some time.


Thank you, and good luck!

Once your interview is over your summary will be forwarded along with your
file to the Board for a final determination. If you have any other
questions, or concerns please let me know!!


I was just wondering if Dr. old dude sent my interview paperwork to the
school yet. I’m very anxious to find out if I’m accepted!


Yes ——-,

Your file is currently with the Board, I should have something within a
couple of weeks. Feel free to check your status at any time!


Yes, they have, and I have checked on your file last Friday (I usually
check every week on the review progress). I’m hoping to get a decision
back as soon as possible, however keep in mind that the usual time frame
can take up to 6-8 weeks. I’ll call you as soon as I hear something and in
the mean time feel free to check up on your file as many times as you like!


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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Finger of God (The Beginning; A)

7 Oct

It seems I ended up on a path where a lot of variables had to click into place.  Trying to explain it is hard, so I’ll just give you a timeline as form of explanation:

Graduate from Mizzou, get rejected from vet school (again), flounder around in a depression, and not knowing what next step to take.

Enter Cabin-Mansion.  Lose faith in my Mentor, and therefore my easy career plan of working as a vet in my hometown.  Realize I can’t depend on family much either.

Back to Missouri, shell-shocked and just as lost as ever.  Apply to island veterinary schools as a last resort to achieving the lifelong dream.  Get accepted to Saint George, but feel “off” about it.  Ignore doubts and plow ahead, preparing to move to an island to gain my DVM.

Am convinced by the parents that it would be best for my cats to go to their house for the summer.  This plan is against my better judgement.  BUT I decide to quit my stable job that I’ve had for the previous six years, give up my apartment where I live alone, and haul my cats to Nevada.  And just like that I am extricated from Missouri–my favorite place I ever lived.

As expected, fighting occurs in Nevada.  Unforeseen, (by me) my school loan falls through at the very-last-minute.  The parents retract any (emotional & financial) support they had tenuously provided and kick me out the same day I found out there is no possible way to salvage my educational opportunity on the islands.  After taking professional family portraits of course.  I’m back at square one, and lost again.

I look on the internet for any interesting grad programs in a place with ANY gays.  After watching Fraiser incessantly for the previous couple of years, and finding a Masters in Aquarium Sciences that feels, not quite interesting, but not boring enough I want to poke my eyes out, I settle upon Seattle.

And like that–I move.  And move in with my Great Aunt that I had met two-three times at family functions.  A lot of awkwardness.  A bunch of inactivity.  A whole lot of talking and sitting (and that’s all) with an 85 year old filled my days.

Living with my Auntie was not all that cool.  It was awkward (I saw her nakid and heard her fart on day one), it was boring, and I didn’t wanna feel like I was sponging off an old lady.  So, of course I looked for my own place right when I got there.  And it was slim pickens.  I hadn’t realized that I would not, under any circumstances, be able to live alone.  No way.  So I looked for a place with roommates, remembering my days in the dorms, fondly.  I figured it would be autonomy and built-in friends.

Boy did I figure wrong.  I finally, after much searching, and a LOT of disbelief and disappointment, found a suitable place.  With one gal and one dude.  They were horridly messy.  We’re not just talking clutter, we are talking vermin in the kitchen and remodeling that was NEVER finished.  Aside from that, the girl was overbearing and impossible to get along with.  This situation of renting one small room in a duplex with two other people, was costing me the same amount that I had paid in Missouri for my own one bedroom apartment with balcony and swimming pool.  I was astounded.  We were not friends, as I had hoped.  I wanted OUT, but had signed a year lease.

Lonely, almost immediately, I go online searching for friends.  Something I would normally NEVER do.  I had always that there must be a reason that people had to resort to the internet to make connections. I figured something had to be wrong with them that they couldn’t meet people in real life.

I got connected with Hannah, a lesbian looking for other lesbian friends.  Something I had never had, but always wanted.  My own gay posse’!  My very own “L-Word.”

When we met, Hannah brought along another girl–Kidron.

To be continued. . .

Rabies–from organ donations

28 Jun

As if people who need an organ in the first place didn’t already have enough problems, right?

I wouldn’t worry for myself since 1) I do not need an organ (yet) and 2) I’m vaccinated for rabies.  True story.  Thanks, Saint George Veterinary School–this is probably the only good thing to come out of that terrible situation.

Getting vaccinated was a requirment for me to even get on the island, but it wasn’t easy.  Mizzou vet school gives all their vet students the vaccine as part of their tuition.  Since I wasn’t admitted to THEIR program, they didn’t want to share.  I think there was a rabies vaccine shortage in 2008-2009 when I was trying to get it.  So I had to jump through a lot of hoops.  The vaccine itself requires 2 boosters a certain amount of weeks apart (2 weeks each?).  So getting all of it to work out with my woerk schedule also took some doing.  The worst part was EACH shot (x3) was $250.  Out of MY pocket.  The school required it, but did not pay for it, or even offer it.

So long story short, I’m vaccinated against rabies.

Straight from the CDC:

The organ donor was an Arkansas man who visited two Texas hospitals with severe mental status changes and a low-grade fever, according to the MMWR. Neurologic imaging revealed brain hemorrhaging that later caused the man’s death. He was screened according to local organ donation regulations and passed. Rabies testing is not a part of routine organ donation screening.

The donor’s lungs were transplanted into a person at an Alabama hospital who died of complications during the operation. The donor’s liver and kidneys were transplanted into three recipients at Baylor University Medical Center on May 4. Between 21 and 27 days after the transplant, all three recipients developed neurologic symptoms, and later died.

Physicians from Baylor said that it is not uncommon for transplant recipients to experience neurologic symptoms as a result of blood flow problems, medication, or infection. But because the exact causes of death for the three recipients were not identified, specimens were sent to the CDC for diagnostic testing.

Testing by the CDC confirmed the rabies diagnoses, and found a strain of rabies common in bats that live in the area where the donor lived.

After receiving those results, officials at Baylor initiated an investigation to determine whether any other patients had received organs or tissues from the rabies infected donor, said Dr. William Sutker, the chief of infectious disease, during a press conference. Through that investigation, Baylor officials discovered that the fourth patient received a liver from another donor and part of an artery from the rabies-infected donor around the same time as the other three patients. Dr. Sutker said the patient died around the same time as the other patients.

Transmission of the rabies virus during an animal organ transplant is far less likely, Dr. Rupprecht said, because the organs come from a controlled population.

“It’s the one situation where the control measures in veterinary medicine may be tighter than those in human medicine,” he said.

Though it would be impossible to screen human organ donors for all possible diseases, officials from the CDC say the benefits of organ transplantation far outweigh the potential risks. Daniel Hayes, an organ transplant expert at the United Network for Organ Sharing, explained during a CDC teleconference that, though there are an estimated 40,000 cornea transplants in the United States each year, only one case of rabies transmission has been reported. Last year, there were more than 25,000 organ transplants and no reported cases of rabies transmission, he said.

“So, I don’t think that such a rare event should trigger any kind of widespread panic or reaction to do testing for a disease that is so infrequent,” Dr. Hayes said.

On average, there are one to three human cases of rabies in the United States each year, Dr. Rupprecht said. He attributes the low number of cases to the work of veterinarians, public health professionals, and professionals in emergency rooms, and to the biologics available.

And in an effort not to write lazy posts, more links so you don’t have to do any extra typing:



Whoa.  Thanks to my boss for sharing this news with me.

The Personal Statement

10 Mar

Yup, I’m going to do it. Against my better judgement.  So before the good stuff, you get to read some MAJOR disclaimers.  I will post my favorite personal statement that I submitted with my most recent vet school application.

First off, I was not accepted to school.  Take that as you will.  I was exceptionally happy with the way this essay turned out, but the admissions committee might have hated it.  I hope reading it over will give someone an idea of how these statements go, the way to utilize space, and mostly to step out of the box and dare to be different from everyone else.  If nothing else, you can see what you DON’T want to do in your personal statement.

Disclaimer 2:  I was afraid someone would plegerize my work, but honestly, I can’t use the thing so someone might as well be inspired by it (hopefully). If you’re lame enough to steal my idea or copy it word for word–well, you know what you did. You will someday fail at life when there is no one left to copy. Also, I hope whichever school or program you turn in it to is smart enough to Google it and gets connected right back to my blog.  But really, don’t be a ball-sack and steal the idea or content.

Disclaimer 3:  Writing these are difficult and time consuming.  I started out by brainstorming all the possible ways I could make such a formulaic, relatively short piece, both contain all the pertinent information, mention things I wanted the committee to know, and be a little unique.  Once I had my idea, I wrote the first draft pretty quickly.  Then the editing began.  I think I had at least 20 drafts–maybe more.  Everyone I KNEW read and made corrections and comments.  Every.  Word.  Counts in these things.  There is not one single word that wasn’t scrutinized for clarity, flow, and meaning both explicit and implicit.  Many thanks to my boss (especially!), my mom, who has always been a great personal editor, and Cool for helping me with some of the best revisions.  But thanks to assorted Facebook contacts as well for reading it over and helping me improve it.

So without further ado, here is my latest Veterinary School Application Personal Statement in all it’s glory:

Veterinary medicine attracts the type of person who loves bodily fluids. In my years of experience I have not yet encountered a veterinarian who does not take great satisfaction in draining an abscess and seeing copious amounts of pus.  In my daily duties as a veterinary assistant, I see urine, vomit, and blood and never think twice. Many times I am adorned by those substances, yet I find it amusing.  As I learned during my employment, in addition to loving disgusting things, maintaining good humor is imperative in the veterinary profession.


I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of veterinary medicine and I still want to engage in it.  One Christmas Day, and I counted 128 dogs and cats staying at the hospital where I worked for the long weekend.  Before I pushed the heavy swinging door open, I heard the cacophony of barking canines.  Once inside, the pungent aroma was evident.  As you can imagine, it did not smell like flowers in the kennel rooms.  As the dogs realized they were about to be momentarily freed, their decibel would intensify.  Flashes of brindle, wheaten, and merle three stories high Riverdanced a metallic jig, eager to escape their steel cages.


Stressed to be away from their owners, the animals would display negative behaviors. Since the pets did not always cooperate, maintaining their health and welfare required a degree of levity. As I hustled to walk, clean, feed, and medicate the patients, I would imagine what it would be like to be in their position.  I decided the best representation of me as a hospitalized animal would be the highly energetic and strong personality of a terrier.  Like the stubborn terrier that yanks on the leash, even after he has been corrected numerous times, my drive to enter the veterinary profession remains undeterred. As evidenced by my continuous animal experience, my ambition to become an animal doctor and own a veterinary hospital has never waned. Even when I have been issued corrections to “become a dentist” from practical pre-veterinary guest speakers, I continue to bound down the veterinary career path.


While in his kennel, a terrier might take his food, piece by piece, out of the bowl and rearrange it around the floor in an attempt to make the space more conducive to his needs.  Being surprised with an explosion of food bits when changing the harmless towel was a pain that required extra sweeping, but I could certainly empathize. If I were confined to a cubicle or a situation that stifled my desires, I too, would take steps to change my scenery.  In fact, growing up in a state without a veterinary college restricted my dream. I realize veterinary schools give preference to residents, so at that juncture I rearranged my life piece by piece and moved to Missouri to enter a strong Animal Science program and pursue residency in a state with its own veterinary college. Though relocating was a major adjustment and, at times, as messy as food confetti, I do not regret my decision. I gained agricultural experience and knowledge that was unavailable to me in my home state.


My trajectory toward veterinary school was not just shaped by moves halfway across the country.  I encountered resistance even when I received that coveted letter of acceptance to veterinary school.  The week before I was supposed to matriculate, my loan fell through and I had to drop my seat in the class.  It was devastating, and I had to mindfully conjure a terrier whose spirit is difficult to break.  I thought of my favorite terrier who hated his complimentary baths and would miserably shake off the water the entire time, but would regain his characteristic zeal immediately after he was dry.  I vowed to gather up my resolve and “shake it off” as well.  Back at square one, I had the opportunity to move to any state with a veterinary program to pursue my goal. In the same way I chose Missouri for its agricultural advantages, I picked Washington State due to the excellent reputation of its veterinary program.


My musings of being a terrier aside, it was satisfying to leave the once complaining pets in the kennel rooms happy and treated.  If the job had started out simple, without mess or struggle, the end gratification would have been substantially smaller.  Analogous is my journey to veterinary medicine–acceptance to veterinary school in particular. At times, the task feels monumental, the road to success convoluted and bleak. I am persevering, realizing my dream of entering into private practice in a rural setting will bring the utmost satisfaction.


My prolonged journey allowed me to amass technical skills, garner coping mechanisms, and observe veterinarians in an array of practices in diverse regions. If I had been easily accepted into a program on my first attempt, I might not appreciate the career this much. It is not in spite of my long struggle that I am currently applying to veterinary school in Washington; it is because of the struggle I know I belong here.

Traumatic Timing

12 Dec

How my life has changed since the ugly SGU loan incident.  I have moved (twice) and am now waiting to hear from the vet school.  My would-have-been classmates have all finished the classroom portion of their DVM program.  They are all posting on Facebook about how they never have to sit through another lecture or take another final exam. . .  It makes me wish I was finishing up too–instead of sitting around waiting to START!  Oh, and earlier this year, the school was finally accepted by the AVMA–meaning they are now eligible for federal funding–and I could have gotten a loan to attend.  What kind of crummy timing IS that?  I have been so unlucky in my quest to veterinary school.  Here is a reminder of the angst I felt when I ran out of financial options and had to give up my seat in my SGU class of 2013:


I Take That Back [post from 8-?-09]

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


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.

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.  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, and am quickly running out of time.

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