Our field veterinarians aren’t traveling because of the pandemic, but they’re still finding students to feature when they do the webinars that have taken the place of in-person visits. Next up: Aaron Caplan, Virginia-Maryland Class of 2022. Aaron was chosen by our Dr. Tonya Sparks.
Will you please share something unexpected you discovered on your path into veterinary medicine?
The most surprising thing I discovered on my path into veterinary medicine is the wide array of career opportunities in this industry. I had no idea that there are veterinarians who lobby for the government, travel the world doing epidemiological research, work for large corporations, and so much more. The opportunities are truly endless in the field of veterinary medicine, and it is continually expanding as we work more and more towards a one health perspective.
In the past 20-30 years we have seen a complete paradigm shift in how people view their pets. It was once commonplace for dogs and cats to live outside, and now they take up most of the bed! People truly view pets as family now, which I suspect will become even more commonplace in the years to come. With that, I believe millennial owners will become even more invested in a high quality of medicine and convenience. For that reason, I am preparing to take my first few years to gain valuable mentorship so that I can offer certain specialty services like orthopedics, acupuncture, and advanced dentistry in house.
Looking for a silver lining, is there one positive thing you think our profession can take from the COVID-19 pandemic?
I think the COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how consistent and stable the veterinary profession really is. Not only did the industry rebound exceptionally well after the original lockdown, but practice caseloads are at an all time high in some areas.
On top of that, veterinary schools were forced to adapt to new ways of teaching. Although not ideal, the transition to online veterinary school has proven that much of the didactic material we learn can be delivered remotely. I think that this will have a profound beneficial impact on veterinary curricula across the country, so that students can better balance school and their personal lives.