Veterinary Medicine Personal Statement
Submitted by Gina
As a Goldfinch collided with my living room window. Everyone jumped but no one moved, only me. I gently placed the bird in a well ventilated, dark box to reduce stress. After a while the bird was ready to continue flying. The value of an animal's life was one of the most inspirational lessons I ever learnt as a child. All I have ever wanted to do since then is to ensure animals have the best chance at life. It was when I rescued a small frog from a chlorinated pool when I was on holiday, that my parents were convinced I would one day be a vet. What motivates me the most to be a Veterinarian, is that unlike humans, animals are unable to express a feeling of pain or distress. My interest in Veterinary Medicine continued to grow throughout my A-Level Biology course, as the more I learn about how certain diseases can affect the body, the more eager I am to discover the cure. I enjoy being able to associate ideas from the classroom to real situations. My first placement was at an Equine Clinic, as I was eager to understand Equine Medicine due to my long-term involvement with horses. I had the opportunity to be involved in different diagnosis and treatments including a gastroscopy of a horse that was admitted with Colic, during the procedure we discovered grade 3 Glandular mucosa on the stomach lining. By following up on patient cases, I developed an understanding of the capabilities and limits of Veterinary Medicine.
My placement at a small animal practice allowed me to develop my animal handling skills. This placement gave me an understanding that despite the efforts Veterinarians go to, sometimes euthanasia is the best option. I was given the opportunity to develop my communication skills by having challenging conversations discussing the options the owners had during consultations. This allowed me to instil a feeling of assurance, that we were there to support the decisions they made. During this period, I became more aware of the affinity between an owner and their animal. I demonstrated my ability to work on my own initiative and cope under pressure when complications emerged. This work experience placement was a very beneficial one, as I was able to spend time in the large animal department where I witnessed procedures such as removing tumours and administering antibiotics to treat mastitis.
In addition to Veterinary work experience, I became involved with my local RDA site, The Pegasus Centre, it provides a restorative riding program for the disabled. As a volunteer, I assisted in regular lessons that gave pupils the chance to work with horses. This gave me the opportunity to communicate with a range of different people, allowing me to be more confident when empathising with owners. Many of the horses used at The Pegasus Centre are rescues, some of which were too old for their previous owners to continue eventing. The Veterinarian that was treating the horses at the centre, taught me an invaluable lesson of the importance of veterinary medicine as, without it, this programme would not be available. A Volunteering Project to Sri Lanka helped me develop my time management skills as I had to contribute to fundraising the £17,000 cost whilst simultaneously doing my A-Levels. During my time there I worked at an 'Elephant Orphanage' and a 'Turtle Hatchery' as well as working with underprivileged people who live in the area. The main skill I developed whilst in Sri Lanka is maturity. I am a lot more empathetic which I believe is an appropriate skill to have.
I have completed two online courses 'Animal Behaviour and Welfare' and 'Do you have what it takes to be a Veterinarian?' Both of which have provided me with a greater understanding of some of the main welfare issues animals have to cope with. In addition to confirming that veterinary medicine is right for me, these courses have allowed me to supplement my studies in A Level Biology in order to understand key aspects of an animal's life, for example, Immunity.