After graduating from Wilson with degrees in biology and equestrian studies, Julianne Simpson ’08 attended St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Cayman Islands. She is currently completing her clinical year at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
“In January, I will finish my clinical year and will be a doctor,” said Julianne. “I will be a full veterinarian.”
After she receives a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, Julianne wants to be a mixed animal vet, treating both large and small animals. She hopes to one day own her own clinic or be a partner in a veterinary medical practice.
Becoming a vet has been a lifelong goal for Julianne. “When I’m in the clinic or on a farm call, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” Julianne said. “It’s been said that if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. This is how I feel about veterinary medicine. Although days are long and usually tiring, they seem to pass by so quickly and I love every minute of them.”
In addition to pursuing a veterinary degree, Julianne is completing a master’s in business administration, with a concentration in health care management at Davenport University, located in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“It’s focused a little more toward human medicine, but I’ve been able to fine-tune it to make it more applicable to veterinary medicine,” she said.
Juggling two degrees, Julianne has found that time management is crucial. “It is important that I do all my assignments in a timely manner, especially since an emergency may happen at the clinic that I have to go in for,” said Julianne.
Julianne says she is learning a lot about what it will be like to be a veterinarian during her clinical year at Purdue.
“We actually get hands-on experience with patients,” she said. “I’ll receive a client and the patient, perform a general physical exam and get all of their history information. After that I will go to the clinician or resident and together, we will discuss or come up with a treatment plan for the pet. Then we will go and present that to the owner and come up with different options they want to use to treat the pet.”
Wilson prepared Julianne for vet school by giving her a solid background in science, math and equestrian studies, she says. “Having such a good background and having the small class sizes, it kind of gave me my voice. If I have a question, I speak up and ask it, and I still do that in vet school.”
Small class sizes were part of what drew Julianne, of La Plata, Md., to Wilson, along with its charming campus and closeness to home. “There’s a sense of community when you get here,” she said. “You know everyone here. Even though you may not be friends with everyone, you still know them and greet them on campus.”