Katelyn White // Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Katelyn is a rising 3rd year veterinary student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
I can't thank Katelyn enough for her time, friendship, and vulnerability to share her thoughts with TTV. Katelyn'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?
- When I was in kindergarten my family took a vacation out to San Diego, California and we visited the San Diego Zoo. While at the zoo, we took a behind the scenes tour and while on that tour we were able to watch a koala give birth and the veterinary staff care for several other areas. It was during this experience that I knew that one day I would also work and care for animals. Throughout life I decided on a DVM track and I am so thankful for all the experiences that have led to this moment.
- What are your goals post graduation as a new graduate? (i.e. SA GP, LA GP, SA ER, Therio, etc.) *
- LA Therio
- Why is mental health important to you? *
- Mental health is important to me because it includes your emotional, spiritual, psychological, and social health. Having good mental health is a good foundation for how we handle all the stress of our lives and industry.
- What skills have you implemented into your daily routine to mitigate stress, anxiety, depression, etc.*
- I start my morning with my daily devotional and journaling. I also make sure to take 30 minutes to one hour daily to just have “me time” for whatever that means for me that day.
- How does the administration at your school approach mental health? Is it a priority? Do they offer resources? *
- I do not feel that Ross treats mental health as a priority but after many complaints and feedback they do seem to be hiring more counseling center staff and allocating more resources to assisting students and their mental health struggles. I understand living on an island means limited resources but mental health should not be sacrificed.
- 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 personally did not have a good study routine going into vet school and I have struggled due to that. I wish I would have established better routines and study habits in undergrad.
- What advice do you have for someone interested in diving in deep into this industry? *
- Never give up and use your failures as a learning opportunity!
- What advice do you have for someone struggling with mental health? *
- It’s okay to not be okay. Just know that it will get better and it won’t be bad forever.
- 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.)*
- After shadowing and working at several clinics with a variety of staff, I have definitely noticed certain toxic behaviors and environments that I know to stay away from. I also know that I am the only one that will advocate for myself, so I need to be prepared to voice my wants and concerns and not just take the first job I find after graduation to pay back loans. Vets are in short supply and you should not have to put up with a bad workplace when you can find a clinic that needs you and will cherish you.
- Do you have any additional information that you would like to share that pertains to mental health & vet med advocation?
- Prioritize yourself, don’t be afraid to say no, get involved, ask all the questions, and don’t forget to smile!