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Future Plans

Becky Lee
UC Davis
Life as a Vet Student, Future Plans

For a long time, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian. The secret that none of my classmates know is that I was supposed to be a painter. Not a painter of fine art. No, a house painter. As a high school senior, I remember taking a career placement test to see how a series of multiple choice questions would determine my fate. Not to mention that it was a chance to be excused from P.E.
I stared at the computer screen and read the first question: ‘Do you like the outdoors?’ ‘Yes, definitely’, I thought to myself as I clicked the electronic bubble. ‘Do you find satisfaction in completing detailed tasks?’ Sure, I guess so. Fifty questions later, it was determined that my life calling was that of a house painter. Interesting. Very interesting. I’ve never painted a house in my life, I melt if I’m in the hot sun for more than an hour, and if you ask my friends to describe me, physical endurance is unlikely to be mentioned at the top of their lists.

All joking aside, I have worked in fields outside of veterinary medicine, and I haven’t found anything that compares to it. After college, I worked at an environmental consulting firm for a period of time. I enjoyed the scientific approach: analyzing laboratory data, creating plans, collaborating with colleagues, and sharing the information with clients and regulators. Nevertheless, I found my interest waning. Soil and water samples were not enough. Coming from a biology background, I missed living things. When I started working at a veterinary clinic, I learned that I could find all the qualities and more that I had previously enjoyed in veterinary medicine.

I’m nearly a decade out from my high school placement tests days, yet I’ve reached another major milestone. Since I will graduate soon, I have had to make another major life decision. In June, I look forward to beginning a career in general practice. I’ve gained so many new skills from each clinical rotation during my senior year. From practicing my orthopedic exam to getting a biopsy of a mass in dermatology, I realize how strong and broad-based my interest is in veterinary medicine. I am eager to see the diversity of cases that general practice will bring. As a general practitioner, I am also looking forward to building lasting relationships with clients. Even with our two week rotations, I find myself surprised by the connections we form with our clients. I am truly excited to start my career in general practice. In my free time, I suppose I can keep house painting as a hobby.

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