Our most recent featured veterinary student is Lindsey Dunn (2020), Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine. Lindsey was chosen to be featured by Nationwide Field Veterinarian Dr. Kristen Britton.
Will you share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?
There is always room to grow as a student and as a person. This is something that I had always known to some degree, but it took on an entirely new meaning once starting veterinary school. I expected vet school to be hard, and it exceeded my expectations! I finished high school and my undergraduate degree making Honor Roll and Dean’s List, then I came to vet school and had to learn new ways to study for success. I am constantly reminding myself that I do not study solely to get a certain letter grade, but to learn the tools necessary for treating my future patients.
Not only is veterinary school very academically demanding, but emotionally demanding as well. As a second-year vet student I have had to rediscover how to take better care of myself. It is extremely important to check in with yourself and make sure that you are still enjoying life and maintaining your own health! Self-forgiveness has been a huge lesson for me throughout my journey in veterinary medicine. There are times when I have been really hard on myself and have to make an effort to stop and appreciate all of the hard work that has gotten me to where I already am. These moments are what drive me to be a better student and human being every single day.
I hope to see increasing awareness of mental health issues, helping reduce the high rate of suicide among veterinary professionals. I feel passionately about raising society’s awareness of the daily lives and stressful demands of veterinary professionals. I am always looking for ways to not only reduce these stresses for myself and my colleagues, but also to find new ways of supporting those who may be struggling. It is vital for us veterinary professionals to stand together and support each other through the undeniable challenges of veterinary medicine. These efforts strongly influence me to become more connected and compassionate as I prepare to become a doctor!
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
I think colleagues would be surprised at the number of challenges I have faced and overcome in my life, which have shaped me into the person that I am today. I was raised in a single-parent home, living on government aid, and surrounded by drug abuse, crime, and death. I began working at the age of 14 to help pay for my school supplies, and by the time I was 16 I was working three jobs while completing high school online. Up until the months before starting veterinary school I was in a seven-year abusive relationship.
I take all of the hardships in my life and use them as motivation to work harder and make my dreams of becoming a veterinarian a reality! I use my experiences as a reminder to always be kind to others and to motivate anyone who feels they cannot achieve their dreams when faced with obstacles. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it!