Recently, I received the glorious news that I passed my NAVLE (National American Veterinary Licensing Exam). It was such a relief to know that I don’t have to take the test twice. I know some others who were not so lucky, and I wish for them all the peace and calm in the world. It is a bear of a test. It is not easy. Everyone feels like they failed when they leave the room, and some people do.
What I hope those people know is that this is by no means the end. It is only a test. Those of us who passed and those of us who failed have studied the same amount of information for the same extensive length of time. We have the same training, and the same practice, and the same skills. For some people, extenuating circumstances create an environment that is not conducive to doing well on a test. For others, a 7-hour test is exhausting and it is difficult to remain focused on the incredibly tough questions for that long. Some people have test anxiety or may require special accommodations. No matter the reason, none of these factors make anyone less of a veterinarian or less good at their job. None of the numbers on that NAVLE report quantify the love and compassion and dedication we have for animals. None of that score report details the countless hours we spent studying, the days without showers because we needed to read one more thing before bed, the times we found ourselves asleep on textbooks or with our computers still open to class notes. Every single one of us has worked just as hard to get here. None of us is perfect, but we try. We try because we love your pets and you so much that we would spend years working to make sure they are healthy and 7 hours taking a test that makes us so crazy we don’t sleep for weeks.
Good luck to anyone taking the NAVLE more than once, and to the future classes who will be starting their fourth year soon! You are never alone. You are always worth it.