I graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine on July 14th, 2013. I’m currently participating in a three year laboratory animal medicine residency at University of Pennsylvania. I’m a non-traditional student and had a very long, hard, and indirect path to finally follow my life long dreams of becoming a veterinarian.

I started this blog right before I started vet school, and it chronicles my journey. There were definitely some big gaps, but I tried to check in fairly regularly. I’ll continue to try to blog as I work at UPenn.


3 responses to “About

  1. Marianne

    I just wanted to ask you one question: Have you been working during your Veterinary studies? I know that the scedule of a veterinary student is extremely demanding. Was it possible for you?
    the reason I’m asking this is that I wish to study Veterinary Medicine but since I’m not 18 anymore, I don’t want to burden my parents with any tuition fees or other expenditure whatsoever. I just need to know, is it possible for someone to study and work at the same time?
    Good luck with your studies.

    P.S. non-traditional people are the most interesting.


    • schwarzmus

      Hey Marianne!

      First I apologize for not responding sooner – today was actually my first post in almost 2 months, so it’s the first time I’m seeing your question as well. I’m sure you’ve had it answered by someone else by now, but I’ll go ahead and respond just in case.

      Financial aid for vet school is very different from financial aid while in undergrad. You still have to fill out the FAFSA, but no matter what your expected family contribution is, you get offered the entire amount of tuition AND cost of living expenses in loans and grants. This means that your tuition and all fees are covered by financial aid and then you get a lump sum at the beginning of each quarter/semester that is for living expenses. It’s not a ton – you won’t be able to eat out every night, go to the movies all the time, or go on shopping sprees – but it is *definitely* enough to live on!! I even live by myself (it’s much cheaper with roommates), and I still am able to pay all my bills, buy groceries, etc. without having to worry.

      Working while in vet school is virtually impossible. Your schedule is crazy and you’re in class long hours, and many evenings/weekends have to be spent studying. Almost every vet student I know does NOT have a job. That being said, it is possible if you find a very flexible job, like at the vet school teaching hospital. I have a friend who works overnights in the pharmacy, but since she’s a student and they know that, her hours are extremely flexible. Basically, she signs up for the shifts that she can work. It’s completely up to her. I also work for the hospital as an on call student for emergencies in our exotics department. Again – I get to choose what nights to be on call, 100%. All of that being said, a job is not at all necessary to get by and live comfortably. My job pays *very* little – I’m on call only a couple of shifts a month. It’s mostly just to have a little extra spending cash. :)

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Thank you so much for your reply. Don’t worry about the delay, I’ve been following your blog for the last 2 months. You really took time to answer with details and I appreciate that.

        I must say I’m not suprised. Veterinary medicine is one of the hardest fields of studies. To work and study at the same time would be utopian! By the way, I forgot to mention that I am from Europe so this FAFSA programm you told me about doesn’t apply here but I know there are other programms offered by the european universities.

        Well I don’t know what my future will look like, right now I’m miles away (or so it seems) from pursuing that old dream of mine but nevertheless it was necessary for me to gather some information and you helped me with that, so, thank you again : )

        Be safe,

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