DVM Networking Session July 21st - Meghan Domony
Through the Summer CORE program I was able to hear from Drs. Dan Shock, Evelin Molnar, Tyler O’Neill, Paige Golden and Shawn MacKenzie about their journey as veterinarians and how they got to be where they are today. It was particularly illuminating for me to hear that their paths were often not what they pictured for themselves in vet school. I would consider myself to be a bit of a ‘type A personality’ who likes to have their life carefully laid out. When I was young and people would ask me “what do you want to be when you’re older?”, I would dutifully answer “I’m going to be a vet!” Getting into vet school, these questions have morphed into “what kind of vet do you want to be?” and I had to quickly come to grips with the fact that this answer was now a much less confident “I don’t know.”
I’ve been very lucky to have hands-on experience with many sides of veterinary medicine. After each opportunity I would be so enamoured that my goals would shift to work in that area. I have rotated through small animal medicine, poultry, small ruminants, and parasitology in my short time as an undergrad. My current passion, in large part due to my summer experiences, is research and pathology. While these new experiences reinvigorated my love of veterinary medicine each time and kept me excited for the future, it left me with an unshakable and growing feeling of concern. For something as pivotal as my future career to be unknown was very intimidating for me.
Being able to hear from so many vets who have shifted their career goals during and after vet school gave me a lot of reassurance that it isn’t uncommon to not know or to change your mind. Being successful doesn’t need to look like the same thing every year I’m out of school. I reflected on what I felt when listening to the varied standpoints in the networking event and considered that I should ease up on myself. My thoughts focused on how successful and adaptable they must be to have been involved in so many areas while I often wouldn’t give myself that same lenience or credit. In moments where I question myself and where the future might take me, I need to consider that I am not restricted by singular self-definitions. It is okay to be multifaceted and fluid, it can be advantageous even, and I should be more open to accepting that about myself. When people ask me what I want to do in the future, I will answer them with a more self-assured “I don’t know yet, but I’m having a great time and learning a lot in the process of figuring things out.”