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University of Kentucky's Pre-Vet Experience Day Charts a Course for Future Veterinarians

University of Kentucky's Pre-Vet Experience Day Charts a Course for Future Veterinarians

The University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently welcomed aspiring veterinarians from across the country to its inaugural Pre-Veterinary Experience Day.

The event was designed to guide, inform and inspire the next generation of veterinarians by providing a real-world, hands-on showcase of this dynamic profession. This educational landmark event brought together students from diverse backgrounds, each with a shared passion for animal healthcare, to explore the multifaceted world of veterinary medicine.

Education Tracks

The day was structured into two tracks catering to students at different stages of their education. The first track aimed at undergraduates early in their pathway, focusing on the prerequisites for veterinary school and the skills needed to become a veterinarian. The second track was designed for students nearing the application process, offering insights into preparing a competitive veterinary school application and exploring various post-graduation career opportunities.

Students participated in panel discussions with veterinarians who shared their experiences and challenges in the field. This included working in a small animal clinic, equine practice, clinical practice with other large animal species, and government/regulatory/academic career paths. These interactive sessions, led by UK faculty and collaborators, aimed to give students a glimpse into the day-to-day life of veterinarians and the myriad career options available.

“It's important to bring professionals from around the nation to talk to the students because they have those real-life experiences,” said UK agriculture and medical biotechnology junior Anna Turlington. “They can bring that knowledge and experience to students who might not know that beforehand. Students can learn that they can do it too, it's not impossible and that the industry needs people of all different backgrounds.”

Samantha Gentille, an animal science major from the University of California, Davis, traveled over 2,300 miles to attend.

“I’ve been a pre-vet student pretty much all my life,” Gentille said. “My boss at work informed me of the opportunity. She told me it would be an incredible experience. It's also nice to get different vet perspectives from other schools.”

Gentille said she was particularly impressed with the insights into the veterinary school interview process and the preparation for presenting oneself effectively.

“I learned a lot about the interview process and how to properly present myself. I knew a lot about the animal side of things and how to write an application. Here, I learned how to express myself better through the different questions that were asked today and the different presenters.”

the experts who are doing this great work every day."

UK’s Pre-Veterinary Advising program consists of an advisory team, led by McNamara and Tebeau, serving all university students in meeting their requirements for veterinary schools across the U.S., including contracts with Auburn University and Tuskegee University.

The Pre-Veterinary Experience Day also served as a networking hub, connecting students with professionals and peers sharing similar interests. 

“I love networking and meeting new people, whether it's from different schools or professionals in the industry,” said Ava Vrany, a UK equine science and management major. “There's always somebody new in the profession I can learn from and help me determine what I want to do in the future.”

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Photo Credit: istock-srdjan-stepic

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