Vet school application - and stalking/shooting (advisability to mention?!)

Poola

Well-Known Member
One for the practising vets, please - or maybe vet students (should there be any on here!)
My son is intending to apply this coming Autumn to study veterinary medicine, and has spent most of his life in the countryside and engaged in country pursuits. These have mainly involved training and working with gundogs & shooting in various forms. This has obviously brought him into close contact with many working dogs (& their injuries - and treatment!) / involved working in team (when picking up on shoots / engaged in wildfowling club conservation activities "out of season") / involved carcass inspection (when processing deer in particular) - and other than sailing/scouts/DoE Silver, all this has taken up a lot of his time during his teenage years. As such, and particularly as they could be seen to complement his application in terms of relevance, they would logically be something which he would include on his Personal Statement/individual vet school equivalents.
However, field sports are obviously divisive - even (it might be imagined) among vets.
Putting aside the question of whether it should be an issue or not (!), would any of the practising vets on the site (or vet students) have a view on this? I have heard already from one senior academic vet that it may not be a good idea - but thought I'd seek out other views in the profession. It would be such a shame to have it omitted given what I think it has brought my son and the part it has played in his life - but then again, it would also be a shame to go through the whole application/extensive work experience pre-application etc, only to fall at the first hurdle due to potential negative bias!
Very many thanks in advance!
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
My eldest daughter is a vet student. I'm pretty sure that she mentioned in her personal statement having been involved with processing carcasses for home consumption, giving her a good basic grounding in anatomy.
 

Lancaster

Well-Known Member
One for the practising vets, please - or maybe vet students (should there be any on here!)
My son is intending to apply this coming Autumn to study veterinary medicine, and has spent most of his life in the countryside and engaged in country pursuits. These have mainly involved training and working with gundogs & shooting in various forms. This has obviously brought him into close contact with many working dogs (& their injuries - and treatment!) / involved working in team (when picking up on shoots / engaged in wildfowling club conservation activities "out of season") / involved carcass inspection (when processing deer in particular) - and other than sailing/scouts/DoE Silver, all this has taken up a lot of his time during his teenage years. As such, and particularly as they could be seen to complement his application in terms of relevance, they would logically be something which he would include on his Personal Statement/individual vet school equivalents.
However, field sports are obviously divisive - even (it might be imagined) among vets.
Putting aside the question of whether it should be an issue or not (!), would any of the practising vets on the site (or vet students) have a view on this? I have heard already from one senior academic vet that it may not be a good idea - but thought I'd seek out other views in the profession. It would be such a shame to have it omitted given what I think it has brought my son and the part it has played in his life - but then again, it would also be a shame to go through the whole application/extensive work experience pre-application etc, only to fall at the first hurdle due to potential negative bias!
Very many thanks in advance!
Many years ago I practised as a Careers Officer after gaining a post grad in the profession, and it was the case, and probably is now, that there are far more applications for Veterinary Science degrees than there were/are places, it was even more competitive than Medical Science.
It may be no longer relevant, but admissions tutors that I spoke to advised me that a broad and balanced spectrum of interests was more important than just the A level grades, as everyone applying had AAA - AAA*.
If I was advising gifted and talented students now I would probably be saying paint a complete picture of yourself in your personal statement, but don't over labour any specific aspect.
 

Klenchblaize

Well-Known Member
Won’t dare to advise one way or other as I have no involvement with veterinarians but with no desire to hijack your thread I can’t help observing how very sad it is that one must consider such a thing in the 21st Century.

After all it was not that long ago that a candidate for entry into any number of professions would withhold their sexual and gender preference if it strayed from the then accepted norm. In 2022 you’d more likely ensure you secured an interview if disclosing you enjoy both snails and oysters in a Marcus Licinius Crassus kind of way.

We really are fast becoming a persecuted minority community with no rights or voice.

But don’t worry as BASC have it covered.

K
 
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Buchan

Well-Known Member
It should make no difference. It also depends on how his satement is written so it woul dbe good to weave into the narrative about the reason for gralloch inspection is public health - he could even add in the example of the cats with TB due to a fail in the inspection process. I'd also have ready thoughts on driven game shooting - non-native release, welfare of shot gun shooting, lead/no-lead.
Most vet schools have a diverse panel of vets and often use small mini interviews or tasks rahther than a traditional panel. Good luck to him and I hope I bump into him one day
 

Alex88

Active Member
I hate to say it but I wouldn't mention it in the application. My university peers, and the lecturers who were on interview panels etc, were mostly bunny huggers! I wonder how different that would have been 50 years ago, when I bet a large number of them would have had a good interest in fieldsports.
 

Alex88

Active Member
I hate to say it but I wouldn't mention it in the application. My university peers, and the lecturers who were on interview panels etc, were mostly bunny huggers! I wonder how different that would have been 50 years ago, when I bet a large number of them would have had a good interest in fieldsports.
I started vet school in 2010 by the way
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
I think @Lancaster has made some very valid points. I was in a similar position when I applied a long time ago. I wouldn’t not mention fieldsports but equally I wouldn’t make them the main focus of the personal statement. After all it is about him not his hobbies! By all means use his experiences to highlight something positive thing such as a skill he has learnt but do it in a tactful manner that is sensitive to different viewpoints. For example he could mention that he has been involved with training working gun dogs without mentioning the actual shooting and he could talk about the conservation work without directly mentioning a wildfowling club. The carcass inspection could be seen as a positive point as there is a mandatory meat hygiene course that all vets have to pass and if they were to interview that would be a prime subject to ask questions about.
 

Mungo

Well-Known Member
I have sat on admissions panels for vets at Cambridge, and still have some contact with the admissions process for vets at Edinburgh.

Anything that indicates a depth and diversity of experience, resilience, independence and work ethic is strongly sought after. I would absolutely mention it - and be explicit about the extent and type of experience.

As mentioned above, I would be careful not to make it the focus of the statement or CV, but I would make sure that it’s there and obvious.

Vet schools are substantially more worldly than other academic departments, and much less squeamish.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
I would have thought that the experience of wprking out of doors, in all weathers, on the side of a hill would be useful to a vet with a practice in a rural area. It shows that you can "rough it". To a vet with a "small animal" practice in an urban area it'd be irrelevant. Of the OP's skills mentioned working with dogs would be relevant.
 

Mungo

Well-Known Member
Thanks again for all your input - it’s been incredibly helpful (and my son says thank you too!)
I would also strongly advise that he make sure that he find a way to indicate that he is quantitatively able.

I have seen more vet applicants rejected because their maths was poor than for any other reason.

If he gets to an interview stage at any point, he will almost certainly be expected to do some basic algebra under some pressure. The one that always flattened them in Cambridge interviews was being asked to work out an appropriate dosage for an animal of x size and then work out when the blood concentration would be below a threshold, given a rate of metabolism or a half life. Very basic pre-calculus, and well over half couldn’t do it.
 

Poola

Well-Known Member
You’ve continued to give fantastic advice, which is really appreciated - and far more than we’d hoped for, so thanks so much. Now to try to apply it in practice for the application- and hopefully interviews… Fingers crossed!
 

Bavarianbrit

Well-Known Member
My pal has two practices and he is selling the large animal one for 40K euros near Freiburg south Germany if anyone wants a change of location.
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
You’ve continued to give fantastic advice, which is really appreciated - and far more than we’d hoped for, so thanks so much. Now to try to apply it in practice for the application- and hopefully interviews… Fingers crossed!
Which vet school is his number one choice, if you don't mind me asking?
It seems to me that when interviewing for the new courses at Nottingham, Harper-Keele and, presumably, Aberystwyth (not sure when their first intake is though?) they're looking much more for characters with initiative, practical skills and individuality. The older, longer established courses, on the other hand, are tending to stick with traditional interviews and academic achievements.
Nottingham has the advantage of 2 intakes per year (September and April), which increases your chances somewhat.
 

Mungo

Well-Known Member
Which vet school is his number one choice, if you don't mind me asking?
It seems to me that when interviewing for the new courses at Nottingham, Harper-Keele and, presumably, Aberystwyth (not sure when their first intake is though?) they're looking much more for characters with initiative, practical skills and individuality. The older, longer established courses, on the other hand, are tending to stick with traditional interviews and academic achievements.
Nottingham has the advantage of 2 intakes per year (September and April), which increases your chances somewhat.
They say this, but the demand for places is so intense that they use absolutely everything they can to differentiate. Even at the new courses, there’s a ratio of something like 11 applicants for every place.

All the life experience stuff only starts to count once they’ve weeded out everyone with anything but perfect academic records.

Which of course causes a lot of problems later on because the traits that get used to select of admissions are often not all that well correlated with the traits needed to be a good vet!

As an aside, I get a lot of intercalating vet students taking my Honours ecology courses, and they are generally absolutely outstanding - almost always in the top 5-10% of the class, and utterly unafraid of hard work. The selection process certainty works to pick the very brightest and most determined!
 

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
One for the practising vets, please - or maybe vet students (should there be any on here!)
My son is intending to apply this coming Autumn to study veterinary medicine, and has spent most of his life in the countryside and engaged in country pursuits. These have mainly involved training and working with gundogs & shooting in various forms. This has obviously brought him into close contact with many working dogs (& their injuries - and treatment!) / involved working in team (when picking up on shoots / engaged in wildfowling club conservation activities "out of season") / involved carcass inspection (when processing deer in particular) - and other than sailing/scouts/DoE Silver, all this has taken up a lot of his time during his teenage years. As such, and particularly as they could be seen to complement his application in terms of relevance, they would logically be something which he would include on his Personal Statement/individual vet school equivalents.
However, field sports are obviously divisive - even (it might be imagined) among vets.
Putting aside the question of whether it should be an issue or not (!), would any of the practising vets on the site (or vet students) have a view on this? I have heard already from one senior academic vet that it may not be a good idea - but thought I'd seek out other views in the profession. It would be such a shame to have it omitted given what I think it has brought my son and the part it has played in his life - but then again, it would also be a shame to go through the whole application/extensive work experience pre-application etc, only to fall at the first hurdle due to potential negative bias!
Very many thanks in advance!


I would be happy to mention it but it depends on how you talk about the subject as above. Working with dogs. Meeting farmers etc. Probably folk are more into free range, healthy meat now as well.

Far more important is his practical experience,(be it dairy or lambing work) and the required grades anyway.

Is he sure he wants to go for it? Better pay being a medic or dentist,(no on call there). And I can’t say I know many folk who are over 5+ years out who still love it either. But that’s a whole other subject
 

Bowland blades

Well-Known Member
interesting....! One of mine did not the other has at every opportunity. Though Vet wasn't the chosen vocation ( one is finishing thier one year slave labour for the NHS before being made up a Doctor ) the other a physics nut.
politically shooters must be cany.
 
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