This realization truly hit me as I decided to apply for veterinary school, discovering I was not near the well-rounded applicant I needed to be. I had essentially spent my entire life around small animals, simply due to circumstances, and thus quickly embarked on a quest to develop as much background in large animal medicine as possible in the few years leading up to my eventual acceptance.
I spent nearly a year working for a boarding and training facility for Hunter and Jumper horses and interned at rural mixed animal practices in Buffalo and Caldwell, TX, all in an attempt to broaden my narrow horizons. I found the experience to be one of the most rewarding of my life, as I learned my passion for animals and veterinary medicine extended beyond the realms of the companion animals which first attracted me to the profession.
I am now planning to embark on a similar eye-opening journey, this time into the world of conservation medicine and the veterinary profession outside of America's borders. Having never traveled anywhere more exotic than the beaches of northwest Florida, I believe this to be an opportunity crucial to my development as a practitioner, citizen of the world, and human being.
Wildlife conservation has always been a keen interest of mine, just never something I had the opportunity to experience firsthand. Homo sapiens has proven the most destructive species in the history of this wonderful planet, having singlehandedly caused more extinctions in the past couple hundred years than recorded at any previous time in the Earth's long lifespan.
I believe this opportunity will provide me with better insight into how to best move forward in preserving our planet and its many inhabitants, and offer valuable understanding of how humans and animals can best share the resources each and every living creature on this planet deserves. I believe this opportunity will provide me with improved knowledge of a culture totally different from my own, and will truly open my eyes to the fact that not everyone thinks, talks, or acts the way that I do, and I am excited to witness and better understand the interactions and relationships between the South African people and the animals that make their homes there. Most of all, I believe this opportunity will enhance my future contributions to the profession and to the world by widening my scope, allowing me to see that veterinary medicine is a field encompassing more than just the United States, more than just Elm Street, more than just cute puppies and kittens in need of wellness exams or vaccines (although those are important, too!).
- Eve Mills
- Mark Kiefer
- Julie and Hal Kaplan
- Chris Mills
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