May is Mental Health Month. 🧠

As a pre-veterinary student, I remember vividly listening to panels of current vet students speaking about their experience. In short, veterinary school was described as challenging and exhausting. I remember one time a student mentioned the crisis in suicidal rates in the industry, but never elaborated on why.

Never once did the discussion involve the specific challenges of mental health a student faces, mention that vet school is so demanding that you often feel isolated, talk about why you never feel up to par with your peers in your curriculum, or that you purposely spend a lot of time away from the people you love due to intense schedules. The list goes on and I'll be sure to speak more in detail throughout the month. 

Sometimes I question my experience when I was a pre-veterinary student. I ask myself, "Did no one talk about this or did I just have rose colored glasses on the entire time?" I believe both are true. 

As pre-veterinary students, it's such a competitive game to play while building your resume to be considered into veterinary school. To put it into perspective: there are 32 veterinary schools in the United States. In the 2020 VMCAS Cycle for the class of 2025, there were 10,253 applicants. At Ohio State University alone, there were 2417 total applicants. 550 applicants were interviewed and our my class size is 165. That is just how competitive getting into veterinary school is. When you are willingly about to take on hundreds of thousands worth of debt on just to be apart of the industry you’ve look into for your whole life, all of the red flags mean nothing - until you’re deep in it. Of course, Veterinary Medicine is extremely rewarding, but it is important to address these mental health struggles within the industry. We are the future of veterinary medicine and that begins with ensuring there is not one more veterinarian left behind.

So, this month I will be talking in depth with the help of some friends about the following: 

  • Highlights of veterinary school, challenges of veterinary school, mental health conflicts, financial stress, skills they use to mitigate these challenges, and much more. 

I am excited to announce that through the month of May, I will be collaborating with various veterinary students globally. My mission is to build a foundation and platform for individuals to share their perspectives on their current experience to provide a plethora of information for you. Without further ado, let me introduce you to our Mental Health Series!

May 01, 2023 — Bailey DeGroat

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