Today I am working my way across the country, with stops en route to the NAVC conference, where we’ll be releasing the latest version of our semi-annual industry benchmark study, the Nationwide® | Purdue Veterinary Price Index. While I’m spending time in the air, I thought I’d get back to our series on veterinary students.
We’re starting 2017 off with Sabrina Rupani, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, class of 2017. Thanks for getting us off to a great start, Sabrina! Now on with our questions:
What drew you to veterinary medicine?
I didn’t decide to pursue veterinary medicine until I was 20 years old, but the idea came to me like in a movie, with an imaginary light bulb over my head. I spent many years taking in stray animals, going out of my way to help people and animals alike. I also had a thirst for knowledge. Aptly so, I decided that veterinary medicine was the pursuit for me.
I think our generation is already feeling the effects of the challenges in our path to pursuing amazing veterinary medicine.
For one, our student debt load is nothing short of ridiculous. To give you an idea, I’m an out-of-state student pursuing my DVM and MPH degrees simultaneously, and my student debt is nothing short of around $300,000, not including my undergraduate loans. Veterinarians don’t make nearly enough to offset the debt load, mainly because our society doesn’t value us as much as our human medical counterparts.
I also feel that our generation of veterinarians may struggle to come into a market that is saturating in certain areas of the country. I’m from Las Vegas, and the running joke over there is that there are veterinary clinics around the corner like there are gas stations.
Lastly and most importantly, for those who wish to work as an associate in a veterinary practice, I feel they will struggle to find their voice within any practice in which they choose to work.
All that being said, I still think our generation is ready to be in the forefront of advancing veterinary medicine.
Can you tell us one thing about you that would surprise your future veterinary colleagues?
My entire world was once devoted to music, particularly singing. I was born and raised in Singapore for the first 15 years of my life, where all I cared about was becoming a singer, and I had the voice to back it up. When I moved to the United States, I realized that dream wasn’t realistic.
I benched one dream in order to pursue another.
Thanks, Sabrina! If you have a veterinary student you’d like to see featured, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.