Although it's already March of the new year, we've decided to look at what we've accomplished since the beginning of this project in late 2017. The beginning of 2019 has not been easy, and between two family emergencies and the 2017-2018 Matching program, we've had to delay starting some of the projects we had planned for 2019.
Let's go over what we've been able to do to help you since the inception of this project and what's to come!
Goals of the blog
As you can see in one of our first blog posts, Why Bother, we've created this project for you. There are so many things to learn overall when you embark in the journey of becoming a veterinarian (and the journey of being a veterinarian!), that a little help from people that have gone through it is welcomed. And thus, helping you learn what took us years to learn is really the main goal of this blog! We also want to share with you useful resources that you might not be aware of and spark your interest in topics that we're not that exposed during training, such as financial literacy.
It is a lot harder to stay consistent with content than we thought to begin with. Between a full time job, personal and family time, and the blog, the later is usually what has to wait for additional free time. And although some quick content could be created, it is really important to us that it truly helps and provides value to you. To simply say that there's a new post and feel like it was rushed and ended up being crappy is not something we're looking to do.
Despite not achieving the consistency award so far, we're very happy with the overall feedback this project has received. It is certainly possible people that don't like it are not saying anything. However, if you don't like it or disagree with something, please go ahead and share it with us. I'm sure we can have a good discussion on the subject and benefit everyone involved. In the same manner, feel free to let us know what we're doing well!
Last year, we had 25,000 pageviews by about 7,500 unique individuals. For such a new endeavor, this seems pretty darn good. Considering the number of websites out there, finding us is still like finding a needle in a haystack!
We appreciate all of you that have shared and continue to share this project with your classmates and friends!
The matching program
The majority of the blog content so far, focuses on the VIRMP matching program. Before this project, there wasn't really a resource available to answer the questions applicants had year after year. And most of those questions where the same every single year except that asked by the next student class! We're here to change that with blog posts and the books!
We've created two books on the Match. Which one to pick is dependent on where you are on your career:
1. The Veterinary Matching Program – A Quick Guide: includes basic information if you’re trying to decide if specialty medicine is for you. If you're pretty sure that's what you want to do, and/or want detailed information on the Match, pick the other book!
2. How to Navigate the Veterinary Matching Program: the in-depth guide to everything you need to know about the Match! Plus, you get exclusive access to the private Facebook group where everything Match related is discussed. Remember to contact me first if you and your classmates want to get multiple copies so you can get a pretty sweet discount and everyone will get access to the group! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for this and any other matters.
We did a live webinar on internships titled "What you must know about veterinary internships". You can still have access to it if you register on our homepage. Obviously you'll be watching a replay - we'll have another live one later on this year when it's Match time again. Considering it was the first time we did something like this, it turned out pretty ok.
mentorship / coaching
We've offered this to a couple of people this past year. The premise is simple: for a fee, I'll jump on a Skype call after looking at your CV and letter of intent. I'll offer suggestions on how to improve them (no spelling or proof reading though) and you have my undivided attention during that time. The goal is to brainstorm together and offer advice on what you can do to improve your application.
I was delighted when I heard that both of these people matched this year!! Many others that purchased the book did too. If you're thinking that following the blog and getting the book and some mentorship guarantees a 100% chance of matching, think again. All we're doing is helping you put together the best application possible and offering as much understanding about the whole process. Every year, excellent applicants go unmatched. Would you rather submit the best application possible, or submit your application when you don't really understand what is important and how the Match works to begin with?
Time permitting, we'll likely be offering a few of these this coming year - shoot me an email at email@example.com if you're interested.
We have kept a fairly regular presence on Facebook and Instagram. We're also on Twitter but of the three, it's definitely the one we're the least active.
1. Facebook - We use our page to keep you up to date on any new blog posts and anything important happening in the veterinary world. Check it and give us a like!
2. Instagram - We're quickly getting more and more followers, and while 840 followers is a pale number in comparison with other accounts, we're really happy that we're getting close to the 1000 mark! You can expect to see cool cases (mostly internal medicine related) along with a little bit on what happens backstage in the VetMed Survival Guide "office" (ie. living room). Remember, life is so much more than work, regardless of your career!
We've also started the "Did you Know" series on Instagram, where we share little bits of clinical information that you may or may not already know! Go ahead and follow us!!
Thank you to everyone who follow and like us on social media. It really does help spread the message!
Hopefully you know that we have a Resources page for anyone interested in veterinary medicine, regardless of where you are in your career. It took a long time to get these all in a nice format for all of you and I hope you find them helpful!
These range from, but are not limited to, financial literacy (including scholarship listings), learning resources and stress relief. If you have a resource you'd like to share with your peers, feel free to email it in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find valuable information and resources on the following posts:
- Scholarships for Pre-vet and Vet students: plenty of tips on how to prepare your applications and where to potentially find additional scholarships, including a link to our scholarship listing page. You can also download a spreadsheet to keep track of your applications or scholarships you're planning on applying to in the future.
- Our list of recommended small animal medicine textbooks. We've wasted so much money in vet school because we didn't know which books would be truly helpful before and after graduation that we felt it was important to help you out on this. We've used every single book and included a short review of why you should consider getting them and when!
- Wondering what you should get/need for when you're on clinics? Check out this post: 4th Year Must Haves.
- Finally, don't miss out on the VIRMP interview series. Although created for the VIRMP, it contains really important information for job interviews in general. It is truly a must read for any veterinary student!
Moving forward, the plan is to continue helping you, regardless of if you're applying through the Match or not. We want this project to be relevant to everyone in our profession by exposing you to important concepts that we're not taught in school. We'll be working on the following topics/projects:
- Financial literacy: we started it with the post on the most common types of veterinary compensation and have planned to discuss basic financial topics. It is imperative that veterinarians and vet students become more comfortable and knowledgeable about financial topics, especially as student debt continues to increase and therefore the debt to income ratio also keeps going up.
- What to look for in a job and contract negotiations.
- Updating the resources section with further helpful and valuable links.
- Repeat the live internship webinar and potentially do one for residencies as well.
- This is unlikely to happen this year but, ultimately, we'd like to create a scholarship for veterinary students. That will have to wait until the blog is at least financially even and/or we partner with a sponsor. Regardless, we're trying to do our part helping all of you out there. We know how it feels to go through the whole process of vet school, advanced training and more. We'd be ecstatic if we can make it easier for you by sharing our experiences and knowledge.
Feel free to email us or comment on the Blog! We love hearing from you, and don't be shy if you want to suggest a topic. Remember, you're the reason this project exists! If you haven't yet, join our email list by clicking below!