At the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS), you’re unlikely to find one of the Fowler sisters without the other at her side; as identical twins, Ali and Zoe Fowler do just about everything together, including working toward their degrees in veterinary medicine.
The Frisco natives decided at a young age to turn their love for animals into careers as veterinarians. They spent their first year as undergraduate students at Texas A&M University at Galveston, before transferring to the College Station campus to study biomedical sciences (BIMS), one of the most common pre-vet majors.
Within the BIMS advising office, the Fowlers became known for their Aggie spirit and ambition.
“Ali and Zoe are an academic adviser’s dream,” said Michael Black, an academic adviser for the BIMS undergraduate program. “They are wonderful young women of integrity and represent what the Texas A&M core values stand for. They are caring and so full of life and spirit for the veterinary profession.”
When it finally came time to apply for veterinary school, Ali and Zoe doubted they would be able to complete their schooling together, but both hoped to continue at the CVMBS.
“We had always done the same sports and the same volunteer activities. Our grades were even very similar, and our GRE scores within just a few points. It was drilled into us that veterinary schools wanted unique applicants, but we had almost the exact same applications,” Zoe said. “That’s why we were kind of scared when applying. I just assumed that we would get into different vet schools.”
However, shortly after graduating from the BIMS program in December 2019, they received the exciting news that they both were accepted to begin veterinary school at Texas A&M in the fall of 2020.
Now, after completing their first semester, Ali and Zoe agree that their BIMS major gave them a big advantage as veterinary students.
“The biomedical sciences courses are very rigorous,” Zoe said. “At the time, it seemed stressful, but then we got into veterinary school and a lot of the classes we’re taking—like physiology, immunology, and anatomy—were, honestly, pretty much identical to the material and the expectations that we had in undergrad. It just made that transition a lot easier.”
That easy transition was even more important as they began veterinary school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The protocols are very new for everyone, but the vet school faculty did so amazing last semester with having office hours and trying to be available for everyone as much as they could via Zoom,” Ali said. “I was very thankful for that, because I was really nervous coming in as a first-semester vet student with everything going on. But, overall, our experience was really fun.”
During their first semester as veterinary students, the Fowlers relied on their habit of studying together and quizzing each other to keep up with the challenging courses.
“I have loved studying with Zoe throughout our entire lives. She’s my automatic study buddy,” Ali said. “Sometimes she understands concepts that I don’t, and vice versa. We can study alone, but I can’t imagine having to go back to solo studying.”
Outside of the classroom, the twins stuck together as they found new ways to connect with their fellow veterinary students by joining the Christian Veterinary Fellowship and a community of students and veterinarians on Instagram.
Through their Instagram page, @twinvets, and blog, Ali and Zoe share their veterinary school experiences and provide advice and encouragement for others interested in veterinary medicine.
“From biomedical sciences to the vet program, it goes from a competitive atmosphere to one where everyone’s empowering and motivating each other,” Ali said. “It’s a very fun and enlightening thing coming into vet school and realizing we actually aren’t competing with all of these people, because we’re already here. That’s my favorite part of vet school, thus far.”
After graduation, both Ali and Zoe plan to pursue small animal medicine but know they will most likely be forced to part ways as they begin their careers at different clinics. Further down the road, however, they imagine co-owning a small animal clinic called “A to Z Pet Care,” in reference to their first names.
“We motivate each other and have the same train of thought when it comes to our future plans. Way down the road, we definitely want to open a clinic together,” Zoe said. “We always joke with family and friends—we’ll be the vet-twin-arians.”
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of CVMBS Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; email@example.com; 979-862-4216