LSU Dean Shares Advice for Incoming Veterinary Students

Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM, professor and associate dean at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, says that incoming veterinary students who want to be successful need to remember two things.
Published: June 30, 2018

Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM, professor and associate dean at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, says that incoming veterinary students who want to be successful need to remember two things. First, be open to all the things you're going to experience in veterinary school. And second, don't let your education consume you. Remember who you were and what you enjoyed before you decided to become a veterinarian.  

"I talk to a lot of veterinary students and they all obviously want to be successful and they say, 'Well you know, what can I do to be successful?' And I think probably the biggest thing is to be open to the things that they're going to be exposed to while they're in school. 

Most vet students come in with this preconceived idea of what they see themselves being when they graduate from vet school or when they've been out in their career for a couple of years. And if they just focus on that and that alone, and they're not open to all of the other things that they don't really know about but they're going to be exposed to, they miss out on so much. 

So I think one is being open to all of the things that they're going to be exposed to during the four years that they're in vet school. The second thing I think is not to get totally immersed within the veterinary curriculum, which is so easy to do because it's so overwhelming not to get totally immersed and then forget everything else and to lose all the other aspects of themselves because that's really a recipe for developing things like depression and anxiety disorders. 

And you know the issues that our profession has right now with those kinds of problems and the increase in suicide rate, I think all of it comes into that that we totally immerse ourselves in this and then lose all of the other pieces of who we are. And so trying to help the students recognize that they don't have to spend 24 hours a day immersed in what it is that they're being exposed, to like water through a fire hose. They have to remember some of those things that made them them before they came into vet school."

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