Celebrating our VetCat Journeys: Where They Are Going
Less than a week away from graduation, Class of 2023 students at The University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine are ready to serve their communities as day-one-ready veterinarians. During their three years in our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, students gained vital skills as they learned about the type of practitioner they wanted to become.
First-generation students like Alexis Tostado have navigated a new environment and discovered just how much is possible for them. After graduation, Alexis will be working as a General Practitioner/Urgent Care doctor at a hospital in Woodland Hills, CA. We asked Alexis to share about her personal experiences and goals.
During her clinical year, Alexis gained confidence in her capabilities and observed seasoned professionals in various clinic environments. Watching these professionals allowed her to dream big and envision herself in their roles someday.
How did your educational experiences influence your career path?
AT: In school I learned the importance of work life balance. I wanted to do emergency medicine because of the excitement and variety of cases but I also wanted a set schedule where I wouldn't feel bad for leaving on time. I found the perfect balance with urgent care.
How did your clinical year experiences prepare you for your veterinary career?
AT: My clinical experiences have shown me exactly the kind of doctor I want to be. I've gained confidence in surgeries because of the spay and neuter clinics offered as clinical sites as well as at the humane society. I have seen a lot of new grads in other rotation sites be hesitant to perform surgery and I feel ready, capable, and eager. I've also grown into my own and have seen doctors do things that I believe I would do differently, and I finally feel confident making those decisions on my own.
Reflections on her Path
Alexis, a first-generation college student, has embraced determination and integrity to graduate with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Graduation means not only a huge step toward her dreams, but also progress in the veterinary medicine field overall. She also shared advice for future students.
As a first-generation college student, what does your upcoming graduation mean to you and to your family?
AT: I always knew I was going to become a vet even as an elementary kid! What I didn't know is how much work and dedication it was actually going to take because a lot of my family had never even finished high school, let alone anything past that. I didn't know how any of it worked but I knew it was what I wanted. I truthfully had moments where I didn't think this day would come because I didn't even know what I was doing so to finally be graduating with a doctorate in veterinary medicine doesn't even feel real. Coming from an underprivileged and underrepresented community, this means more than just a graduation, I am paving the way for so many others like me.
What advice would you give to a first-year student?
AT: My advice to a first-year student is live in the moment. School will get hard at times, but it doesn't last forever. It’s okay that someone else seems like they know more than you, not everyone has to think the same. Some people are quick thinkers and some people (like me) have to think about it a little longer. That is okay! Don't compare yourself to anyone else because you are just as bright and have gotten just as far!