Emily is a rising 2nd year veterinary student at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

I can't thank Emily enough for her time, friendship, and vulnerability to share her thoughts with TTV. Emily'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.

  1. Why did you initially want to be a part of veterinary medicine? *
    1. Veterinary medicine is the perfect blend of the things I love most! Devoting a career to caring for people, animals, science, and education satisfies my interests and passions.
  2. What are your goals post graduation as a new graduate? (i.e. SA GP, LA GP, SA ER, Therio, etc.) *
    1. I am a first year, so in complete honesty I am not sure. I currently most enjoy mixed animal practice, but have a background in critical care and emergency medicine.
  3. Why is mental health important to you? *
    1. Mental health is an important temperature gauge for how I view my life overall. When things become unbalanced, I often experience that imbalance by how it affects my mental health.
  4. What skills have you implemented into your daily routine to mitigate stress, anxiety, depression, etc.*
    1. When I started vet school, I picked three things I chose to identify with. If I began to slip away from those things, I would re-evaluate what I needed to change to fall back into alignment. None of these goals had anything to do with school. I am first and foremost a wife to my dear husband Cody, a Christian, and I love fitness. Of course, my life and person is far more complex than that, but it was easy to keep in mind who I am as a person and what I enjoy on simple terms. Practically, this looks like me getting at least eight hours of sleep every night (no exceptions), lifting weights five days a week, and prepping up to half a semester's worth of frozen meals over each break. (I have never stayed up past 9:30pm for school... I am proud of this haha). My husband and I stopped watching TV during weekdays so we could spend more intentional time together, and he changed his work schedule so we have weekends off together. We plan a date night together once a week and usually have at least one evening study-free. As soon as we moved to Auburn, we plugged into a church community. We pursue these people as our friends, community, and support. I frequently pray throughout my days at school and listen to my bible while I'm in the car to keep my heart focused on Christ.
  5. How does the administration at your school approach mental health? Is it a priority? Do they offer resources? *
    1. This is something I love about Auburn. They have implemented scheduled wellness hours that are protected, no faculty member or student can initiate the scheduling of anything for the class or clubs during these hours. We also have two integrated counselors that students can schedule on-going appointments with throughout the semester. Each year SAVMA hosts a wellness week with different events and activities focused on educating students on how to implement wellness. I believe this is something that AUCVM does incredibly 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. My sleep, fitness, and meal planning were all things I began implementing in undergrad. I truly believe this is part of why I have had so much success in this particular arena. I knew it was something that would be hard during vet school and saw it as something to become disciplined in, and began slowly establishing habits that would help me later. Developing a mindset focused on future growth and thriving is key!
  7. What advice do you have for someone interested in diving in deep into this industry? 
    1. Learn to be a fully functioning person first. Establish basic healthy habits and your education will follow.
  8. What advice do you have for someone struggling with mental health? 
    1. Seek help! You are loved, valuable, and wonderfully made by a God that cares for you.
  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. Work-life balance is most important to me. I see the core values that I have implemented in vet school to be the same ones I desire to have for life and my future family.
  10. Do you have any additional information that you would like to share that pertains to mental health & vet med advocation?
    1. You don't have to pull overnighters or go to bed past midnight. Go to bed, you'll be happier for it. ;)
May 31, 2023 — Bailey DeGroat

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