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You’ve been Accepted!

I had just finished my first training shift as a receptionist at Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital when I got the email from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. It read, “Congratulations! You have been accepted to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program in the 2017 Fall Semester.” My heart stopped.

I had to read it at least 20 times before it even registered that I actually got in.  It was easily one of the best feelings in the world – a mixture of pure joy and relief. This past year was stressful wondering if my university marks were high enough; if I was in the top percentile on the GRE; did I have enough veterinary experience; did I answer the questions appropriately at my interview. I had focused my entire life on becoming a vet and I had no immediate plan B. I didn’t want a Plan B, I wanted to be a vet and now I was given the opportunity.

You can ask any of my family members or childhood friends that even at a young age I already knew what I wanted to be.  My love for animals has been a driving factor in my life and is one of the reasons I have always been drawn to veterinary medicine.  I have joked with my friends that my happiness is directly proportional to the number of animals I have seen that day.  Even though I always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, I entertained other career paths by volunteering at the IWK and observing human medicine.  One of the biggest differences between human and animal medicine is the degree of specialization.  Human medicine is incredibly specialized, meaning a different doctor and department cover each body part.  Therefore, you would either consistently refer cases to other doctors or spend your days in a specialization where you would see similar cases every day.  I consider myself more curious than that.  Call me selfish but I want to see my patients every step of the way.  I want to be the one to diagnose, treat, and observe their recovery.  A veterinarian is not simply an animal doctor.  A veterinarian is a doctor, diagnostician, surgeon, radiologist, dermatologist, pharmacist, nutritionist, dentist, and everything in-between.  I cannot imagine a more exciting career.

Since receiving my acceptance letter, I have been unable to think of anything else but getting started on my career. I fell in love with the AVC UPEI campus when I attended the AVC vet camp in 2012. I knew then that AVC was where I needed to be.  I cannot wait to start studying what I love at the campus that inspired me.  I have been speaking with future classmates who all share a similar mix of excitement and impatience to start the year. I look forward to meeting the people who I will be spending the next 4 years learning alongside.  In a few weeks, I will be in courses such as Macroscopic Anatomy, Microscopic Anatomy, Animal Behaviour and Welfare, and Physiology.  I have taken courses similar to these in my undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University and they have been some of my favourites.  I cannot wait to be in a classroom surrounded by people who are just as passionate as I am.  The course load is somewhat daunting but I have never been so excited to learn.

I would like to take a moment to thank my “work family” at Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital.  It is hard to believe that after working in Boarding for 3 years I am going to have to say goodbye and move to PEI.  Thank you for inspiring me each day with your hard work and passion for veterinary medicine.

Written by: Erin Douglas

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