Thursday, March 5, 2009

Applying to Vet School: Key Attributes all Vet Students Need

So, now you have experience, the grades, gone through your undergrad classes, and are ready to start applying to Vet School. I think a good place to start the process is to think of how all these past work has shaped you and to point out all the skills, attributes, and talents you have gained.

I think these are key attributes that vet schools are looking for in future students, as well as eventual doctors. Now, don’t just flood your personal statement and application with these attributes falsely, but if a past experience warrants it, put down the skills and attributes you learned or acquired. Also, in your personal statement and interview mention ways in which you have shown these attributes. Also, if you’re currently looking for job, and want one that will help on your application, look for jobs that may allow you to grow in these areas. I put some commentary next to some, but I think you know why they are important.

Key attributes

Communication- You will hear time and time again that veterinarians (all doctors really) lack good communication skills. For veterinarians this is particularly important so you can describe illnesses and treatments to owners. Therefore, vet schools are really trying to teach and recruit good communicators to their schools

Leadership- You will be doctor, an expert in your field, and more than likely in charge of your clinic at some point. You need to have proven leadership abilities.

Intelligence- Pretty self explanatory. The academic load is heavy and they want students that will be successful students and veterinarians.

Good with animals- Again, pretty self explanatory.

Integrity- Schools don’t want cheaters or people that take short cuts. As veterinarians you will one day be in charge of controlled substances, animals lives, and the costs of treatments. Integrity is a must.

Responsibility- When in veterinary school you are responsible for yourself: keeping out of trouble and maintaining your grades. Not to mention the responsibilities you will have as a doctor.

Hard worker- you cannot “coast” your way through vet school. Lazy students are always the first ones out. Also, life as a veterinarian can be very physically demanding.

Understanding- Vet schools don’t just want animal loves. They want students that have seen, worked, and understand in real life veterinary medicine. They don’t want students that discover after their fist semester in vet school that they don’t really want to be veterinarians.

Experience- I know I've harped on this in past posts, but schools want ot know you have worked and seen real life veterinary medicine. As well as the valuable medical skills you have acquired.

Inquisitive- right now the world is looking for veterinarians that are interested in research and developing new drugs, prevent bioterrorism, and improve production. If you are interested in research and developing new ideas in veterinary medicine be sure to mention it in your application.

Patience- So animals do not always do what you want them to do. Clients don’t always show up on time. Mistakes are made. Are you able to handle all of this? Can you keep calm and level headed in stressful situations? A good veterinarian can.

Organized – A must for an eventual doctor. Medical records allow you to treat animals safely and effectively. Also, these records will be helpful if you are ever brought to court. Without organization of records, instruments, and staff your practice (and your vet school experience) will run twice as slowly with double the effort.

This is it for now, if I think of anymore I will post it.


cgirl4e said...

Very interesting blog...

I've just looked back into pursuing a veterinary career.

Something I'm praying about at the moment, however.

But I'm glad I ran across this blog to follow.

I hope you are going to post more soon.

David Tripp said...

Thank you for putting this out there for everyone interested to read. This really helped me in my considereation of a veterinary career. Thanks again

John said...

When checking out a vet school, this looks like an awesome place to begin your academic program! The True Blue Campus at St. Georges University.

jonp21 said...

Thanks for the kind comments!

Anonymous said...

i love this blog!!! i am curretnly almost done with high school and have always dreamed of beinga vet, i work at teh humane soceity and at the zoo.I also plan on working in a vet clinic this summer. PLEASE keep posting more!!! i love it! thanks so much for taking time out of your biust schedule to help us out!

jonp21 said...

I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I will be posting more soon, I've just been buried in tests. My nest post is on writing your personal statement on your application. I should get it posted by the end of the week, sorry it has been so long.

Anonymous said...

this has helped alot for a vertaniry student just like me starting out

Anonymous said...

Hi, i am a high school student, and i stumbled upon your blogs and i am glad i did. I just want to thank you for alot because i want to be a military veterinarian since i was in the 6th grade. Military, because thats in my dads footsteps but in my own way, and it pays for it if i work hard. I saw your list of traits i need to have and my problem is procrastination which i am working on.
But thanks and i will keep reading and never give up working.

Anonymous said...

I am a high school student and I have always been interested in two things, Animals and Medicine. I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog. I have been working on becoming a volunteer at my local animal clinic, I am taking an animal anatomy class, I have taken biology and chemistry and all of my algebra courses. Although I am worried about trouble with admissions I can't wait to begin school and get my D.V.M.

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