chickenlittle

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Just curious....

I'm a vet with 11 years of experience, thinking of starting a website to help prospective future veterinarians at both the high school and college level. Although there's plenty of information out there (via Google, here on SDN searches, etc), I talk to a lot of students who seem to have trouble sorting through all that info, prioritizing, developing a plan, etc. Does that sound accurate to you? What's the biggest problem you have surrounding this period in your life?
 

Lupin21

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Pretty sure yet another website is just going to be the same thing. People don't know how to research is what it boils down to. Everything anyone wanting to go into the field needs is on every school admissions website.
 
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pinkpuppy9

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Just curious....

I'm a vet with 11 years of experience, thinking of starting a website to help prospective future veterinarians at both the high school and college level. Although there's plenty of information out there (via Google, here on SDN searches, etc), I talk to a lot of students who seem to have trouble sorting through all that info, prioritizing, developing a plan, etc. Does that sound accurate to you? What's the biggest problem you have surrounding this period in your life?
I think you can definitely start a website that describes your suggestions/opinions on the typical pre-vet questions, but I agree with Lupin-anything beyond that is usually in black and white on a school website.

I think things like websites/SDN/etc. are good for navigating the potential intricacies that come up when applying to vet school, such as choosing one experience over another and so on. Schools don't normally help you with that. However, some students do want advice beyond a message board or want to feel they have an 'official' source of advice. That's not to say anything said on here isn't valuable, but something more formal (or with a name and face attached) may hold more weight. idk. This is coming from my experience of meeting a guy (ex Cornell head of admissions) who ended up making a full business out of advising prevets, proofing essays, etc. He set up a booth at one of the pre-vet symposiums a while back and probably made a good chunk of change. Hearing it from Bob Smith, DVM is very different than hearing it from pinkpuppy9.
 

LetItSnow

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Hearing it from Bob Smith, DVM is very different than hearing it from pinkpuppy9.
Thing is, that's <perceived> value, but it's not necessarily <real> value. Pinkpuppy9 has every chance of being just as good of a source as Bob Smith, DVM. Probably even better than even odds, since Pinkpuppy9 just went through the whole process (successfully) recently, and Bob Smith mayyyybe did it within the last 5-6 years, or maybe did it 20 years ago when the process differed.

I mean, I'm only 2 years out and I already feel like things have changed <a little>. Maybe not significantly enough to matter yet, but ... 5-10 years from now? I won't have much to add unless I stay active in the interviewing process, beyond a little cheerleading to help people stay positive (not my forte).

For my money, if I were a student, I'd put more stock in what vet student Pinkpuppy9 says than a random DVM (not knowing anything else about either of them - obviously the more info you have the better you can evaluate your source) when it comes to admissions advice.

It's why I occasionally say something like: "Having done admissions interviews ...." It's not to pay myself on the back, it's so the person I'm talking to can assess my credibility.

I've come across that Cornell guy. I read some of it and was struck by a sense of "some of this is great, some of it is <already> outdated."

So as weird as it sounds, I think you guys who have just gone through it recently, or people who have recently graduated, are really awesome sources. Even if it's behind some anonymous SDN name. :)

I don't want to put words in chickenlittle's mouth, but my sense was s/he was thinking about a little more 'organized' presentation for people. Something where they can go and get a little more organized guidance about how you go about planning your undergrad career, how you go about getting experience, which experience is valuable, etc. That sort of stuff. The same thing people get here, but in a more organized fashion. I personally think that could be useful to pre-vets - but getting them to find it is the issue.

And there's the grumpy part of me that more and more thinks "*I* was able to do my own research and find out what my school wanted from me, why the heck do so many people want to be hand fed when the info is on virtually every school's website."

But, yanno, I'm grumpy.
 

batsenecal

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There's also only so much a person or website can do. At some point, the buck stops at the applicant. I can't tell you how many times a post on the APVMA Facebook page makes me shake my head and think, "You're going to be auto-rejected just because you can't follow directions or common sense." Harsh. But sometimes I can't help but to think that.
 

that redhead

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I don't want to put words in chickenlittle's mouth, but my sense was s/he was thinking about a little more 'organized' presentation for people. Something where they can go and get a little more organized guidance about how you go about planning your undergrad career, how you go about getting experience, which experience is valuable, etc. That sort of stuff. The same thing people get here, but in a more organized fashion. I personally think that could be useful to pre-vets - but getting them to find it is the issue.
I think this is what the VIN Vet School Bound website is aiming at, though, and I'd argue (with all respect to @chickenlittle) that they are by far better equipped to be presenting that sort of consolidated (and up to date) information.

To the OP, "trouble sorting through all that info, prioritizing, developing a plan, etc." is more a product of our society's direction (in my opinion) and less because it's too difficult to sort through all of the available information. Let them figure it out on their using the quality online resources already available.
 

batsenecal

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Agreed with TRH. Putting together the application is as much a part of the selection process as an interview or the admissions department. When it comes down to it, there's only ~35 schools to go through and it's not that hard to get the info if people put forth the effort to find it.
 

that redhead

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Agreed with TRH. Putting together the application is as much a part of the selection process as an interview or the admissions department. When it comes down to it, there's only ~35 schools to go through and it's not that hard to get the info if people put forth the effort to find it.
Gathering information, interpreting the information, putting together a plan for how to arrive at a desired outcome...isn't that veterinary medicine? :laugh:
 
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chickenlittle

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Honestly, I was thinking less about the actual application process (because you're right, that info largely comes from each individual school and other sites) and more the sorts of info that you would need earlier in the process. (Really, I guess high school students and maybe college freshmen/sophomores?)

Stuff like:
- how do you decide whether being a vet is the right field for you?
- how do you go about finding your first shadowing/work opportunities?
- how can non-veterinary jobs & extracurriculars relate to vet med and benefit you later down the road?
- how can you keep college costs down? (ie. take AP classes in high school so you can graduate in 3 yrs)

Maybe that isn't info that would help people, but I think it could. I've worked with a lot of shadowing students and had experience teaching college freshmen as an adjunct professor... a lot of students that age have similar questions and I know that I, personally, haven't always had time to answer those questions as thoroughly as I'd like, so I'm thinking a web-based resource could fill some of that gap.

Also, as a total math/science geek (I tutor a few elementary/middle school kids) I can also envision a section even for those younger ages, with vet-centric math/science lessons. SO many little kids are interested in vet med. Most of those kids will change goals as they get older, but at that age, having lessons related to something they consider "cool" could help parents/teachers.

I have a lot of other ideas (some of which are completely unrelated to this topic)... just looking for a new challenge/project since I'm getting bored with practice and glad that you guys are willing to let me pick your brains :)
 
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LetItSnow

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I've worked with a lot of shadowing students and had experience teaching college freshmen as an adjunct professor...
Tangent alert.

How did you get into teaching college students? Did you have a background beyond a BS/BA + DVM? I've idly considered it off/on for a while ... I like teaching, and I continue to work with vet students (teaching surgery), but I'd enjoy a more formal teaching atmosphere, too. I've never looked into it enough to see if an MS or more is required.
 

batsenecal

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Tangent alert.

How did you get into teaching college students? Did you have a background beyond a BS/BA + DVM? I've idly considered it off/on for a while ... I like teaching, and I continue to work with vet students (teaching surgery), but I'd enjoy a more formal teaching atmosphere, too. I've never looked into it enough to see if an MS or more is required.
Not sure if this would be useful for you or not:

I'd love to go back to my undergrad to teach, and it seems that the DVM, BS would be enough for smaller schools (like my undergrad). That's the vibe I'm getting from putting my bug in some people's ears, at least.

If you get more info, could you let me know?
 
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chickenlittle

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Tangent alert.

How did you get into teaching college students? Did you have a background beyond a BS/BA + DVM? I've idly considered it off/on for a while ... I like teaching, and I continue to work with vet students (teaching surgery), but I'd enjoy a more formal teaching atmosphere, too. I've never looked into it enough to see if an MS or more is required.
I have a BS in Zoology and my DVM. I was hired to adjunct-teach Intro Biology II lab (for majors) at a local private college.

Pluses:
- I love teaching.
- Enjoyed getting to spend one day a week on a college campus. I'm one of those people who could gladly remain a college student forever, so this allowed me to enjoy that in some ways!

Minuses:
- Not a very high-caliber school... I found that many of the students were far more interested in sports than Biology and invested very little effort in their work.
- The pay. I made about $20/hr for the hours that I actually spent teaching.... but after factoring in prep time, grading time, etc, it worked out to <$10/hr.
- Challenging to teach the lab when I wasn't familiar with the accompanying lecture course. Made it difficult to know what level to teach to when I was introducing each lab, because in many cases the labs didn't sync up with where they were in the course.
- I was required to show a lot of 70's-era biology videos to my students. Not very fun.

The pay per credit hour would have been higher if I was teaching a lecture course instead of a lab, but there also would have been more prep work in that case. Also, I'm not sure that I would have qualified to teach a lecture course with just the BS/DVM. I once asked the department head whether my schooling would be sufficient to ever apply for a FT teaching position and she did a lot of hemming and hawing and refusing to answer, so I'm guessing that's a no (but not wanting to say no because they really needed me to teach the lab section).

I did enjoy it, but ultimately decided that my schedule was too full with FT practice and the other things I have going on in life (freelance writing, a young child, church commitments, etc). It didn't pay enough to give up any of my other paid work and I just couldn't fit it in around everything else I had going on.

If I could qualify for a FT teaching role at another college, I'd definitely apply. Unfortunately, my experience at that particular college basically verified my suspicions that it's basically an expensive diploma mill, so I doubt I would consider teaching at that school (even if they would consider me with just the BS/DVM). I would consider another college, so maybe that will be an option if we ever relocate. I'm also interested in maybe teaching middle/high-school students someday. Granted, I've only taught high schoolers in small groups (SAT prep classes) and middle schoolers one-on-one (tutoring), so who knows if it would actually be a good fit!

Hope that helps! Glad to answer any other questions if I'm able.
 
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LetItSnow

Skipping the light fandango
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I have a BS in Zoology and my DVM. I was hired to adjunct-teach Intro Biology II lab (for majors) at a local private college.

Pluses:
- I love teaching.
- Enjoyed getting to spend one day a week on a college campus. I'm one of those people who could gladly remain a college student forever, so this allowed me to enjoy that in some ways!

Minuses:
- Not a very high-caliber school... I found that many of the students were far more interested in sports than Biology and invested very little effort in their work.
- The pay. I made about $20/hr for the hours that I actually spent teaching.... but after factoring in prep time, grading time, etc, it worked out to <$10/hr.
- Challenging to teach the lab when I wasn't familiar with the accompanying lecture course. Made it difficult to know what level to teach to when I was introducing each lab, because in many cases the labs didn't sync up with where they were in the course.
- I was required to show a lot of 70's-era biology videos to my students. Not very fun.

The pay per credit hour would have been higher if I was teaching a lecture course instead of a lab, but there also would have been more prep work in that case. Also, I'm not sure that I would have qualified to teach a lecture course with just the BS/DVM. I once asked the department head whether my schooling would be sufficient to ever apply for a FT teaching position and she did a lot of hemming and hawing and refusing to answer, so I'm guessing that's a no (but not wanting to say no because they really needed me to teach the lab section).

I did enjoy it, but ultimately decided that my schedule was too full with FT practice and the other things I have going on in life (freelance writing, a young child, church commitments, etc). It didn't pay enough to give up any of my other paid work and I just couldn't fit it in around everything else I had going on.

If I could qualify for a FT teaching role at another college, I'd definitely apply. Unfortunately, my experience at that particular college basically verified my suspicions that it's basically an expensive diploma mill, so I doubt I would consider teaching at that school (even if they would consider me with just the BS/DVM). I would consider another college, so maybe that will be an option if we ever relocate. I'm also interested in maybe teaching middle/high-school students someday. Granted, I've only taught high schoolers in small groups (SAT prep classes) and middle schoolers one-on-one (tutoring), so who knows if it would actually be a good fit!

Hope that helps! Glad to answer any other questions if I'm able.
Very much, thanks! I am not interested in giving up clinical practice (at least, not now) to do it FT, but I've thought often about doing it part-time. Sometimes thought about teaching at a tech school for CVTs (LVTs, etc.), but I'm not sure that's really my interest. (And due to some school closures and a shift to few full-time teachers vs many part-time, it's tough to get into around here right now.) Undergrad science would be more interesting to me.

My schedule is pretty amenable to potentially teaching a daytime class on a M/W/F or T/Th schedule.... sounds like it might be something to look into.
 
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chickenlittle

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Very much, thanks! I am not interested in giving up clinical practice (at least, not now) to do it FT, but I've thought often about doing it part-time. Sometimes thought about teaching at a tech school for CVTs (LVTs, etc.), but I'm not sure that's really my interest. (And due to some school closures and a shift to few full-time teachers vs many part-time, it's tough to get into around here right now.) Undergrad science would be more interesting to me.

My schedule is pretty amenable to potentially teaching a daytime class on a M/W/F or T/Th schedule.... sounds like it might be something to look into.
I've also considered going the tech school teaching route and decided it wasn't really something I'm passionate about. I'd consider it, if the right opportunity fell into my lap, but I'm more interested in teaching more general/theoretical science (middle, high-school, or undergrad) than clinical skills.
 
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Polocrosse2017

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As a college Freshman sometimes it would be nice to just have more students at my level on a website. Just talking schedules for the next semester, Clubs, jobs, workload, courses, fun, etc. The pre-vet forum here is mainly for those almost to apply to vet school or already in it. There is a high school forum but the in-between isn't. Of course I know I'll get more of that from classmates once I have been here more than two weeks!
 
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chickenlittle

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As a college Freshman sometimes it would be nice to just have more students at my level on a website. Just talking schedules for the next semester, Clubs, jobs, workload, courses, fun, etc. The pre-vet forum here is mainly for those almost to apply to vet school or already in it. There is a high school forum but the in-between isn't. Of course I know I'll get more of that from classmates once I have been here more than two weeks!
In addition to forums, what else would you like to see in a website? Is there any specific advice/info you'd like to see covered in blog posts, articles, or maybe online videos?
 
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