My Journey to Vet School

Posted: Jul 9, 2019
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Continuing education and training can have immense benefits on your longevity and happiness in your career. It impacts the patients you are working with today as well as the patients you will treat tomorrow. In this blog, Anthony Hill, DoveLewis TA and future vet school student, reviews how continuing education opportunities lead him from his first position as a CSR, to a future veterinarian.  


Continuing education is an important part of any career. Everybody has to start somewhere and there is no shame in being brand new. As your education continues to grow, you will become better at your job; have more sense of fulfillment and likely more job satisfaction. My experience working at DoveLewis over the last four years has been filled with high quality education and memorable experiences.

When I first started at DoveLewis, I was very new to the veterinary field. With my client services background, I naturally started as a Client Services Representative (CSR). CSR’s are experts in every detail of the client experience within the hospital. They work closely with the clients and all hospital departments to make sure visits run smoothly and as stress-free as possible. It was very daunting to learn countless front desk procedures, various software systems, and hundreds of employee names. I owe much of my training to videos and working with other senior team members. As I grew into an experienced CSR, I was still learning tiny details that I never knew about the hospital.

After two years, I knew that I wanted to broaden my experience in the veterinary field. I wanted to learn more about the other departments in the hospital. I transitioned into a Veterinary Technician Assistant (TA) position in DoveLewis’ ICU. As a TA, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the medical side of a patient’s visit. Once again, videos were a big help learning how to assist properly with procedures and learning new skills as an assistant. With every shift, I was learning something I never knew. The technicians and doctors are always willing and happy to explain specific medical conditions and why we are performing certain treatments. One of my favorite tasks at work is running blood work and learning what the results mean for the patient. I thoroughly enjoy the ICU where I can see critical patients for multiple days and observe the effects of the treatments. The constant education that I experienced has given me a sense of fulfillment, and learning on the job keeps everyday interesting. Having teams with knowledgeable people provide the best patient care by relying on their first-hand experiences. It’s clear to see that learning is beneficial for you, the patients, and the clients.

Some of my favorite ways to grow and continue learning are attending lectures such as DoveLewis’ Third Thursdays, watching training videos, reading veterinary journals, and watching documentaries. Many of these resources are highly encouraged by DoveLewis managers and benefit our entire hospital. I loved volunteering at the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center, where I learned about wildlife rehabilitation. I also enjoyed fulfilling my veterinary school prerequisites at Portland State University (PSU). For three years, I was taking classes at PSU and working simultaneously. DoveLewis management and co-workers were aware of my plan to apply to veterinary school and wanted to help in any way that they could. They were always understanding and flexible when it came to my school schedule and my goals outside of work. In the blink of an eye, it was time to submit my veterinary school applications and two DoveLewis doctors were kind enough to write letters of recommendation for me.

The years of hard work finally paid off and I have accepted an offer at the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London. I could not be more excited to continue my education this fall. Dovelewis’ ongoing education and support through school and applications was a very large part of my vet school offer. For this I am extremely grateful. As I start veterinary school, I will bring all the knowledge that DoveLewis has taught me over the years. I am going to miss DoveLewis and all of my co-workers tremendously. The knowledge, passion, and kindness that I witness every day is unmatched.

Make an attempt to learn something new every day- even if it is as simple as learning where an instrument is stocked. When you have time, attend a local lecture that interests you, watch videos or documentaries, read journal articles, or volunteer for a local organization. Education will only have a positive effect on your life and the knowledge will be useful in the future. Thank you to the entire DoveLewis staff for all the learning opportunities and for helping me achieve my goals. I am eager to start the next chapter and continue my education.