I don’t think it ever really hit me that I would have achieved this lifelong goal of mine to be a veterinarian. Sure, I worked hard, and I checked off all the boxes to get there, but really feeling like a doctor was a different story. I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome starting out: everyone was better than me at this, I had a tough first year of school getting used to the amount of studying I would have to do, I wondered sometimes, if I wasn’t the best, then what was I doing this for? Of course, now, I realize I was never alone in those feelings, particularly in my last year of vet school.
Fourth-year was the time to really make a mark as a doctor and not just a student. I learned this year to not be afraid of the crazy way my brain puts things together. I should trust how much I have absorbed and how hard I have worked to remember treatments for disease, surgical processes, and drugs that work best for certain pets vs. ones that have side effects. Now that I am truly a doctor, a graduate with a big fat DVM behind my name, I finally feel like a person who is important to the animal world. It is great to look back on my struggles now and see that I did make it through some of the toughest academic years of my life and that I did learn the knowledge and skill set it takes to be a good veterinarian. Probably some of my favorite moments of vet school were the times in this last year I got to truly be a doctor to a client and their pet–I got to talk to them about a procedure or treatment with full confidence that I was giving them and their pet the best possible treatment options and possibilities. I can’t wait to start working soon as a small animal and exotics veterinarian and to be a doctor for so many new patients.