Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

The viscous pink liquid in the syringe weighed heavily in my hand and even heavier on my heart. Radiographic images had confirmed a ruptured intervertebral disc in the gorgeous, but immobile Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the sudden onset of paralysis had caught the young family by surprise. Financially unable to pursue surgery and concerned with Dodger's future quality of life, the couple tearfully elected humane euthanasia and departed the hospital with their toddlers. With Dr. Campos' supervision, I steadily plunged the euthasol solution into the intravenous catheter and ended Dodger's suffering. Shortly thereafter, a sick puppy requiring Dr. Campos's immediate attention entered the hospital and the night of emergency cases continued. The opportunities to nurture and heal the human-animal bond between clients and their pets through veterinary medicine motivates me to obtain my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and become a small animal veterinarian. The veterinarian plays such crucial roles in the client's and the animal's life, be it during death at the final visit or during a puppy's initial wellness visits. My enthusiasm for the veterinary profession is intermingled with my fascination with animal behavior. These interests developed informally while teaching my dog to perform different tricks, progressing from a basic "sit" to the more advanced "handstand". Working in a comparative cognition laboratory as an undergraduate research assistant bolstered my interest in veterinary behavior, a field that enables me to proactively evaluate both medical and behavioral issues. Firsthand exposure to frustrated clients and anxious pets at a 24-hour emergency clinic reaffirmed my desire to become a general practitioner and combine applied animal behavior with veterinary medicine to help clients and animals with concerns both in the hospital and at home, ultimately improving the relationship between humans and their furry family members.

Esther from California
University of California - Davis