A ‘Major’ Decision

Linh N.This is my second year as a biomedical sciences (BIMS) major.

Up until the end of last summer, I thought medical school was what I wanted to pursue. Ever since high school, I’ve joined so many medical organizations and clubs to keep up with what’s going on in the field and learn more about it through other people.

My plan took a turn, however, when I went back to my motherland, Vietnam, for vacation and a shadowing opportunity. During winter break of my freshman year, since “shadowing” is not really a thing in Vietnam, my mom tried her best to get permission for me to get my shadowing hours done at one of the top hospitals there.

Even though it was a very great experience, I realized that I was not really passionate about it. I still love the idea of working in the hospital or clinic environment, where I get to help other people. However, I felt like something was missing; I didn’t feel super excited when I did my shadowing.

Last summer, I volunteered in the small adoptable dog area at the Houston SPCA. I had a chance to talk to a veterinarian and a veterinary anesthesiologist there and I never felt so excited and fascinated by listening to other people talking about their job and workplace.

My mom has always wanted me to become a doctor and I thought that was also what I wanted. But I know that deep down in my heart, I’ve always wanted to become a veterinarian.

I didn’t want to disappoint my mom so I kept it to myself and kept going forward as a pre-medical student until I got this job as a bio med ambassador. As I was shadowing other ambassadors on their tours, I got to see more than just the reception at the animal hospitals—I saw an operating surgery under a team of about 5-6 people, a veterinary dentist and his team treating a dog’s teeth while it was under anesthesia.

Seeing everyone work as a team to treat animals and talk to the animals’ owners about what’s going on with their pets, how their pets are feeling, and what they should do to help their pets feel better allowed me to picture myself in veterinarian’s position and that made me very excited.

I’ve also talked to some veterinary students and I realized that I’m actually more intrigued by our discussions about what they’re learning in veterinary school and some interesting things they’ve seen during their rotations or shadowing than listening to a discussion at a medical school presentation.

So, my second year as a biomedical sciences major will be a memorable mark on my journey—on in which I decided to pursue veterinary school and a veterinarian path.