Why would a board certified internist and a veterinary oncology resident take the time to write this blog?
There are multiple answers, but the easy explanation is that we’ve been through a lot to get where we are now, and wished we knew more and had more information when we were first starting out!
Want to know a little more about us and what we’ve been through? Keep on reading!
Vet school in Portugal is much different than in the US. We apply straight out of high school! Looking back, how unwise is that? Does anyone really know what they want to become when they’re 18?
Six years later I graduated and had decided to pursue advanced training. I thought I wanted to be a surgeon, but after doing an externship at Washington State University during my senior year, I realized my true calling was in Internal Medicine.
It was a much better fit for me, as I realized I loved the diagnostic challenges it provided, as well as endoscopy! I obviously owe a lot, including my change of heart, to the internists at WSU who mentored me – they know who they are!
Advanced training didn’t happen until after a year in private practice back in Portugal, when I accepted an unpaid internship position at Washington State University.
Yep, you read that right – graduating from a non-AVMA accredited school in a small country (but great weather and food!) doesn’t make you very competitive on paper for the Match!
Pullman, Washington wasn’t the most exciting place to be, but the vet school made up for it (and I eventually met my beautiful wife there!!). I got to be around a group of really intelligent doctors, and could only aspire to one day get some “letters” after my name, too.
From sunny Portugal
To Pullman, WA
So did everything go smoothly?
You might have guessed it – when the time came, I didn’t match for a residency. It was like everything was over and I had to pull myself together and think through what I was going to do. Although I had internship offers from the UK, I decided to stay at WSU and be a Community Practice clinician at the Teaching Hospital and try again next year.
A year passed and on the dreaded Match day, the greatest news ever arrived – I was heading to Cornell!!
To Ithaca, NY – are you noticing the white theme?
Fast forward to after passing my board exams and completing my residency, it was time to move to Michigan State University (MSU), where I joined the Internal Medicine team as a faculty member. Now I had interns and residents under my own wing, and was responsible for student teaching. (There’s no snow in MI, right??)
After a year in Michigan we headed back East and are now in Massachusetts, where my wife is currently an Oncology resident. (yep, definitely no snow in MA either…)
What else did we have to go through?
My wife had a more linear path to residency, as she completed college and veterinary school in the United States.
She also did not go directly from internship to residency, although for different reasons than mine, so it added quite a bit to our experience with the whole process. Her internship was at a private practice and, as opposed to me, she had doubts regarding which specialty to pursue.
Now during her residency, she is facing some of the same struggles I faced (and eventually blocked out!) during my residency, and new ones inherent to a different specialty!
It is a long road for everyone pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. We hope to help you go through it!
We obviously made mistakes and at times didn’t know how to proceed, but learned a lot and are now sharing it with you.
There are many things you can only learn from experience, but there are others you can get from ours to try and help you on your way to becoming a veterinarian and pursuing advanced training if you so desire.
We will strive to provide information and guidance all the way through pre-vet, vet school, advanced training and life as veterinarians!
Welcome, stay tuned and feel free to share your own experiences with everyone else! Check out our posts here.