Zaida Gomez // Long Island University College of Veterinary Medicine
Zaida Gomez is a rising 3rd year veterinary student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
I can't thank Zaida enough for her time, friendship, and vulnerability to share her thoughts with TTV. Zaida'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? *
- I’ve always had a passion for animals and the human-animal bond. Veterinary medicine was the perfect career for me to care for animals and their guardians.
- What are your goals post graduation as a new graduate? (i.e. SA GP, LA GP, SA ER, Therio, etc.) *
- Mixed Animal General Practice
- Why is mental health important to you? *
- Prioritizing my mental health allows me to strengthen my resiliency, achieve my goals, and build positive life experiences. I can be the best version of ME!
- What skills have you implemented into your daily routine to mitigate stress, anxiety, depression, etc.*
- Taking frequent BREAKS. I gave myself an hour after class of free time to do anything to unwind (call SO, scroll on tiktok, watch a show, etc). SLEEPING early was a game changer. Nothing feels better than waking up early and feeling truly rested. Exercising before class gave me the energy to focus! It also led me to my next habit of eating healthier. I enjoyed setting fitness goals because even when school was chaos I could witness other goals I was accomplishing. Although this may not seem like much, it made a huge difference for relieving my stress and improving my productivity!
- How does the administration at your school approach mental health? Is it a priority? Do they offer resources? *
- LIU Center for Healthy Living has one-on-one mental health counseling for students and provides group therapy sessions for vet students certain days of the week. Our SAVMA chapter also hosts Wellness Week which has been very successful in the past. Our student ambassadors also do a great job of sponsoring donuts, bagels, coffee and other goodies during exams and finals!
- 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 did not have the best study habits from college. I wish I practiced studying a little bit of material each day and that I didn’t get used to cramming material for the exam. It will NOT work in vet school! Not without extreme stress!
- What advice do you have for someone interested in diving in deep into this industry? *
- The nature of the highly selective application process tends to accept perfectionists. Remember to be patient with yourself, practice self-care, and remember your WHY. Vet school is a marathon! Although you may have worked for this your entire life, this doesn’t have to be the only thing that defines who you are.
- What advice do you have for someone struggling with mental health?
- Don’t ignore your feelings. Seek out support from someone you trust or a classmate who can relate and start implementing healthy habits (the key is to never stop!). DO NOT hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional.
- 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 realized there ARE employers who prioritize mental health. I’d like to work for a company that provides generous PTO, paid parental leave, and mental health support benefits. Some even offer pet adoption leave! I would feel comfortable as a rising veterinary professional with a clinic that truly cares about their employees. Don’t settle for less, the market is in our hands!!
- Do you have any additional information that you would like to share that pertains to mental health & vet med advocation?
- You may feel like life is passing you by in vet school, even as a pre-vet student. Don't forget to continue to do the things you enjoy and LIVE during vet school too!!