Example Veterinary Medicine Personal Statement
Growing up on a smallholding, I have always had close contact with a range of animals and enjoyed an active role in all aspects of their care. As a child, it seemed to me that the vets who tended to our livestock radiated efficiency and confidence, employing a wealth of expertise to save a creature’s life or end its suffering. I aspire to pursue and possess that expertise myself, entering into the unique vocation that has held my passionate interest for so long. Veterinary medicine promises the kinds of demands and satisfactions that I thrive on; continuous learning, true variety, outdoor work and focused interaction with animals. The scientific aspect holds particular appeal as I am a keen student who has won all my school’s biology, chemistry and physics prizes for two years. A peer-mentoring scheme has even seen me take on the role of assistant in a chemistry class. I find studying at the cellular and atomic levels fascinating; however, science becomes intensely rewarding when ideas translate into actions in the tangible world. Veterinary medicine, therefore, presents the opportunity for me to further my learning within a highly practical context.
Proactive in my organisation of relevant work placements, I have spent six months at a horse breaking, schooling and dealing yard where I became an integrated part of the team. In addition to keeping my own horse and riding with the local pony club, my family runs a small livery where I am helping to break in a Connemara. Therefore, I fully embraced the hands-on experience and was soon well known to customers, even being asked my opinion of horses for sale. I have since undertaken a short spell of dairy work, plus devoting time to helping on my grandfather’s farm. Through periods of shadowing at a veterinary lab and two mixed vet practices I have witnessed work on both large and small animals, in a typical daily routine. An arthritic dog receiving acupuncture treatment presented an unusual and inspiring case; however, it was handling animals, helping nurses to clean kennels and prepare caesarean kits that I felt gave me the most insight into the busy life of the practice. Having worked at a cattery for two years, my communication and interpersonal skills are already highly developed and I can swiftly put anxious owners at ease. I am also confident in taking responsibility for individual animals and working independently to maintain standards.
The charity Riding for the Disabled gave me the chance to spend time with handicapped children and instill in them an appreciation for animals: this in turn contributed to my completion of the Silver Duke of Edinburgh award (I am currently working towards Gold). Further demonstrating my dedication to extracurricular success, I also hold the R.L.S.S. bronze medallion and the British Red Cross first aid certificate. A prefect, my involvement with the student council and newspaper proved to be great preparation when I was chosen to represent fellow pupils at the Scottish Parliament, lobbying for more outdoor learning experiences. Having relished school sailing excursions, educational trips have always meant a lot to me. Their importance reached entirely new heights last summer, however, when I gained a place on a B.S.E.S. expedition to the Amazon. Utilising a great deal of imagination, motivation and time-management (I was simultaneously studying for my Highers) I raised over four thousand pounds to enable me to fulfil this dream. Working with the University of Iquitos, I carried out five weeks of research into turtles, river dolphins, caiman and macaws whilst canoeing on the Amazon and trekking through jungle. Without home contact, the many useful skills and personal strengths that I have described thus far were honed into maturity. The academic knowledge that I have built up also supports my desire to enrol on your course; I am genuinely looking forward to showing that I have the drive, enthusiasm and determination to succeed.
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Sample Veterinary Personal Statement
Having always been interested in animals, my fascination has only increased as my understanding of their biology has grown. Looking into the twin processes of evolution and selective breeding has allowed me to understand some of the genetic drawbacks that certain species face, such as ventricular septal defects in bulldogs, and has awoken a desire within me to apply this knowledge to diagnosis and treatment. Veterinary medicine offers an opportunity to combine this concern for animal welfare with an ever-changing, intellectually stimulating professional environment.
Convinced of my desire to study veterinary medicine I have concentrated my studies on science and maths, particularly excelling in Biology, demonstrating my natural affinity with the subject and laying an excellent foundation for study. Chemistry and Physics have rounded out my understanding of the sciences, while Maths has improved my ability to approach problems in a rational, measured manner. My overall performance at GCSE demonstrates my positive attitude to study and my willingness to work hard to succeed in all subjects.
In addition to my commitment to studying the relevant subjects and increase my knowledge, I have undertaken a range of work experience to further my awareness of what the job actually entails. Beginning with a 2-week placement, where I assisted with preparing work surfaces prior to surgery or consultations and holding dogs and cats during injections. It was particularly impressive to see that way in which the vet approached all situations calmly, utilising impressive interpersonal skills when dealing with owners. Observing and assisting with consultations and surgery at Fern Cottage Veterinary Surgery allowed me observe the differences between practicing in South Africa and practising in the UK, offering employment experience across an international context. At Sjeal Arabian Horse Stud Farm I learnt about the connected processes of husbandry and breeding, and a vet’s role within them, as well as worming horses and observing a farrier at work. By developing this knowledge at Eye Horn Farm Stables, where I gained experience of checking for soundness and laminitis in racehorses, I have gained a strong sense of equine treatment in particular. A week spent lambing at a local farm, where I learnt about the Bluetongue virus and the Culicoides midge, also introduced me to the basics of veterinary medicine within a farming context.
Outside of my academic interests I am a keen sportsman, applying the same dedication to training as I have to my studies and work experience. As a Silver Sports Ambassador, I am charged with promoting Olympic values and encouraging younger members of my community to get involved in sport. This is a particularly exciting opportunity for me to pass on my passion for rugby, having played for both Sheppey RFC and my school team for a number of years. I also enjoy combining my passion for sport with raising money for charity, regularly running in the Paul Trigwell Island Run. Perhaps my proudest achievement was forming part of an expedition to Tanzania, which included summiting Kilimanjaro and working to improve a local primary school. While also improving my teamwork and leadership skills, this expedition allowed me to experience a different culture and has instilled in me a love of travelling.
As a hardworking student, I have applied the same dedicated attitude to my studies as I have to gaining employment experience in my chosen field. Through work experience and attending a Vetsim course, where I developed a particular interest in avian veterinary surgery that I would be keen to develop later, I have gained a real sense of what working within the field entails and am convinced that, as an empathetic person with excellent communication skills and a strong affinity with animal welfare issues, I have what it takes to make a real contribution to veterinary medicine.
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