Alexandra is a rising 3rd year veterinary student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. 

I can't thank Alexandra enough for her time, friendship, and vulnerability to share her thoughts with TTV. Alexandra's answers regarding her experience in veterinary school, mental health challenges, and more are available below below. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact

  1. Why did you initially want to be a part of veterinary medicine? *
    1. I have wanted to be a veterinarian since a very young age. I didn't know at the time all the different avenues of medicine and all the things that comes with the field but have grown to love all of it!
  2. What are your goals post graduation as a new graduate? (i.e. SA GP, LA GP, SA ER, Therio, etc.) *
    1. After graduation I'm still not sure what I want to do! I think 4th year will be really helpful in helping guide my choices. I may apply to the Match for a SA Rotating Internship but am interested in SA GP with Zoo Companion Animal, SA ER and Urgent Care.
  3. Why is mental health important to you? *
    1. Mental health became important to me during COVID. While I was stuck inside and doing my best to stay busy I had a handful of moments where I felt hopeless and went through a lot of self reflection. During vet school I have had an amazing support system but as time has gone on I have also felt my mind change in ways I didn't think it would. There are times where I feel even less than a year from the end that I'm not sure how I'll make it to the finish line. I'm really thankful to have amazing friends, colleagues, and faculty at my school who help to get me out of those rutts of imposter syndrome and self doubt.
  4. What skills have you implemented into your daily routine to mitigate stress, anxiety, depression, etc.*
    1. Exercise and going to the gym has been my happy place since I found it in undergrad and although it takes up a lot of time, I choose to take care of my body and mind first by going to the gym and lifting weight 3-5 times a week. I know that I am a much better person for it. Also talking about my struggles to my significant other and friends really helps me to process how I'm feeling and what I can do to help myself out of it.
  5. How does the administration at your school approach mental health? Is it a priority? Do they offer resources? *
    1. Lots of resources are offered at Illinois which is great! We have a social worker just for the vet school who takes appointments with students and provides online resources as well.
  6. Did you feel prepared as a pre-veterinary student going to veterinary school? If you could go back, what would you change about your preparation? *
    1. I'm so glad that I had a year between my undergrad and vet school to have fun experiences related to animal husbandry. I had never worked as a vet tech before school and am glad that the way I learned how to do things the first time was the way it's taught in school. I'm more happy I took a year off in order to grow a little more as a person and adult before coming to school, I think it allowed me to have a more mature approach to life in vet school such as that it's more important to take care of your body and mind instead of ruining everything to study.
  7. What advice do you have for someone interested in diving in deep into this industry?
    1. It's not all rainbows and butterflies and can be really tough but to start every day with a fresh and open mind and practice gratitude for the people you're surrounded by and the fact that you're in medicine really helps during those hard moments.
  8. What advice do you have for someone struggling with mental health? *
    1. Do not be afraid to ask for help!!! My mom always told me "you have a mouth, use it!" I have been in the front row seat of witnessing someone go through a mental health crisis in vet school that could have been avoided if they had spoke more about their thoughts and feelings. That being said, being aware of different signs people show during mental health struggles and speaking to a counselor, therapist or faculty you trust is just as important. The person struggling may be upset at your in the moment but you could be the one that pulls them out of their struggle by speaking up.
  9. How has your vet school experience helped make you prioritize your needs and wants as a future veterinarian? (i.e., practice environment, sign-on bonus, prioritizing work-life balance, etc.)*
    1. Vet school has made me realize how important having a work-life balance is and being able to spend time with those you care about while being adequately compensated. At a career fair I asked a corporate how they support their vets' work-life balance and how if I moved to that area they I would want to go skiing a lot and they said they would pay for my ski pass. I think it's so important that you are a human who practices medicine, but medicine is not all that you are.
  10. Do you have any additional information that you would like to share that pertains to mental health & vet med advocation?
    1. Be there for your friends and colleagues. You never know what they're going through and support each other during times that are challenging!!


May 31, 2023 — Bailey DeGroat

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