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Entries in NAVLE (8)


EPDC Study Package Scholarship Winner

Samantha Thomas - Washington State University

To an incoming 1st year,

            Vet school will challenge you in ways you cannot yet imagine. My advice to you is to not merely hang on for the ride, but to fully embrace it – go boldly. Surround yourself with a strong network of family, friends, and faculty who will help you reach your lofty goals, and make time to work on yourself and your personal development. This last piece is a critical priority.

            Being a leader is inherent to being a veterinary professional. In vet school, you will have opportunities to develop your professional skills along with your technical ones. Take advantage of these opportunities, but resist the urge to learn basic “leadership skills” and immediately begin using them to direct others. Instead, focus initially on yourself. In order to lead others, we must first be able to lead ourselves, and in order to lead ourselves we must first know ourselves intimately.

            Take time to reflect on who you are, why you are here, and what your goals are. Identify your guiding principles and operate within them to find the most rewarding opportunities and career options you can. Be slow to speak, seeking always to first understand the perspectives and ideas of others. Be pensive; take time to reflect on your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Find strength and leadership in yourself, which will in turn enable you to become your best self, and thereby your most effective servant leader and veterinary professional.

Best wishes,

A soon-to-be 4th year


EPDC Study Package Scholarship Winner

Jenessa Grau - Iowa State

Success in this profession arises from the thirst for knowledge.  It is important to learn rather than memorize, accomplish rather than procrastinate, and experience rather than observe.  Standing apart from the elite requires involvement in extracurricular activities, experiences outside of class, and as always, academics.  With such a long list of requirements, it is easy to lose track of the most important key to success: personal fulfillment. 

The most valuable thing I learned throughout my veterinary career is the stress of classes, working, finances, and the never-ending exam schedule can easily overwhelm the strongest individuals.  It is imperative to take a step back and do at least one thing for yourself every day.  Since mental health is just as important as physical health, reading a chapter from your favorite book, going on a date, or movie night with the girls can allow for a much needed break from studying. 

The bottom line is this curriculum is very stressful.  Everyone is so busy obsessing over grades, class rank, and getting an “A” on the anatomy exam that they forget to enjoy school.  I have experienced this first hand, because I was one of these students.  It took me three years to realize I am much happier when I take time out of my busy schedule to join the co-ed softball team or participate in club events.  I wish someone had convinced me of this from the start.


EPDC Study Package Scholarship Winner

Devon Duffy - Auburn

Professional development for many people in the veterinary medicine field starts when they are very young. I believe this because most people knew they wanted to be a veterinarian at a young age. Even though this development started way before a person’s enrollment in veterinary school, I have a few suggestions to an incoming student that I feel would help them in the future.

I would suggest making friends and starting a study group. You are able to divide up work, talk over important ideas, and help each other understand complicated concepts. Help those who need it and ask for help when you need it. There is no sense in falling behind because of your pride. If you are accepted into veterinary school, it is everyone’s goal for you to succeed!

During your breaks, find jobs related to veterinary medicine. You not only gain money, you gain experience. Volunteer at places when you don’t work. The more you work and volunteer, the more experience you will have, the more connections you will have, the more job opportunities you will have after you graduate.

Most importantly, buy a lottery ticket every once in a while and hope for the best. Study hard but remember the important things in life such as friends and family and never study so hard you neglect them. They are your rock, your biggest supporters, and they are the reason you are here. Your veterinary career is what you make of it, good luck!


EPDC Study Package Scholarship Winner

Bridgette Peal - OSU 

This is advice from an exhausted (finals are next week), anxious (clinics

start soon), successful (I think so) third year student to any first year who, no

doubt, thinks they know everything about becoming a successful

veterinarian (I thought the same), on what “professional development”

means to me.

Get to know your classmates; they are your future colleagues. Everyone has

a niche and one day you may need their expertise. Build those relationships


Ask for help when you need it, and ask for feedback. Recognizing and

working on your weaknesses will not go unnoticed.

Study a little every day. To be a professional, you have to be knowledgeable,

and it is important to learn the material, not just memorize it for an exam.

Grades are not everything. Do not let your desire for a 4.0 keep you from

club activities or research. These are great networking opportunities and

ways to expand your knowledge base.

Get in the clinic. You will be able to practice thinking like a doctor and

correlate what you learned in class with real patients. Some days I felt like I

learned more in an afternoon in the clinic than in a week of lectures.

Improve your communication skills. Everyone can work on them, and it may

save you from a lawsuit one day.

Last, take time for yourself. No one can be on all the time. Sometimes you

need to watch bad reality television all afternoon. Professional development

is personal development after all.



New SAVMA Scholarship

A new scholarship from SAVMA's Education and Professional Development Committee (EPDC) was created at this years AVMA convention:

NAVLE Study Package Scholarship: We are offering up to $300 to be used to purchase a NAVLE prep package. This scholarship was created in response to the annual NAVLE Survey, which shows that over 80% of fourth years use digital review services to study for the NAVLE.  To be eligible you must be a current 3rd year or entering 4th year and planning on taking the NAVLE in Fall of 2014. The winner of the award must also complete the annual NAVLE survey following the completion of the exam.


What does “professional development” mean to you? What would you suggest to an incoming first year who had no idea how to begin their veterinary school career? What are some key steps in becoming a successful veterinary professional? (250 words or less)

Time Line

Open Scholarship: March 1st, 2014
Close Scholarship: April 15, 2014
Award Scholarship: May 15, 2014

Please email