Dr. Becca Barrington // Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Becca is a graduate from Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine.
I can't thank Becca enough for her time, friendship, and vulnerability to share her thoughts with TTV. Becca'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 TheTurquoiseVet@gamil.com.
- Why did you initially want to be a part of veterinary medicine?
- Initially, I wanted to be a part of veterinary medicine to have a positive impact on the agriculture industry. Now, it has evolved into a desire to serve in both the agriculture and equine industries.
- What are your goals post graduation as a new graduate? (i.e. SA GP, LA GP, SA ER, Therio, etc.) *
- My goal for my first year is to complete an equine internship. Afterwards, I'd like to do either an Equine Sports Medicine residency or join a practice that allows me to practice both equine and bovine medicine.
- Why is mental health important to you? *
- Maintaining my mental health is important to me because it allows me to be the best and most sustainable version of myself; I am a firm believer that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Burnout and compassion fatigue are negative predictors of job satisfaction in veterinary medicine, overall impacting the quality of patient care you can offer - simply put, being happy makes us better doctors.
- What skills have you implemented into your daily routine to mitigate stress, anxiety, depression, etc.*
- In my day to day, I prioritize self-care things like my skincare routine, taking a shower, and getting a good nights sleep. I am also very intentional about making time to ride my horse, hang out with friends, and go to concerts & rodeos.
- How does the administration at your school approach mental health? Is it a priority? Do they offer resources? *
- Our DVM program has their own counselor, our SAVMA chapter does a "wellness week" every semester, and resources for Diversity & Inclusion and other mental health services are routinely advertised to our students.
- 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? *
- I felt pretty well prepared, yes; I was in a rigorous undergraduate program with coursework that was similar in difficulty to the courses that I encountered in veterinary school. If I could go back, I would try to spend more time doing work in veterinary clinics outside of my primary livestock and equine interests; I think more experience in small animal and exotic medicine would have given me a stronger foundation for clinicals and helped me apply more of the information that I learned in class.
- What advice do you have for someone interested in diving in deep into this industry? *
- Stay true to yourself and don't be afraid to try new, uncomfortable things; growth does not happen in our comfort zones! Identify the things that make you happy and prioritize them in the context of both school and life. Veterinary medicine can take you so many places, don't be afraid to try it all - who knows what you'll discover about yourself. This one is a potentially unpopular opinion... They say "C equals DVM" and while I think that it's totally reasonable to not put unnecessary pressure on yourself regarding school performance, I think it's also okay to still want to strive for good grades; you have to find what system works for you and what fits best with your future goals.
- What advice do you have for someone struggling with mental health? *
- Find someone to talk to. Whether it be a trusted friend or family member, or a professional - getting an outside opinion and advice on how to move forward is so critical. Don't gaslight yourself or minimize what you are facing; talking to someone can help you unload the burdens you're carrying and is a great step in learning how to manage your mental health in the context of your veterinary future.
- 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.)*
- I've learned that I want to work in a practice that has a positive, collaborative culture and prioritizes learning, community involvement, and student engagement. I want to have a career that I can balance alongside my hobbies and my family.