Auburn Veterinary Student Takes Creative Approach to Encouraging Classmates

Through Difficult Second Year of Vet School

Veterinarian school is tough. The stress can mean depression rates even higher than even students studying human medicine.

The struggle to balance work, school and life means more second year students drop out.

So, an Auburn Vet student took a creative approach to encouraging classmates.

He asked them why did they want to become a veterinarian in the first place?

“Gunner is our doberman. He meant the world to my family and he was our first family pet. He only lived 7 years, so he was taken early from us. But, nonetheless, I want to pursue that and help another family get through that or save them. That’s why I’m here,” said Rachael Lander, whose in her 2nd year at AU Veterinarian College of Medicine.

Auburn vet school students really ask that question in their second year known as the hardest.

“You go day by day 8-5 and throw in some exams and throw in time to study on top of all that it kind of wears you out,” said Brandon Weyhing, 2nd year at AU College of Veterinary Medicine.

When Weyhing needed a pick-me-up, he thought of a way to also lift the spirits of his fellow classmates.

“I was sitting around and beating myself up, but I know why I’m here. That’s why I came up with the board because we need that daily reminder. We need something to keep us motivated every day while we are in here so it’s not just the mentality of oh just another day,” said Weyhing.

Now, more than 200 pictures, a testimony from students.

“Sometimes we forget that we are here for the animals and hopefully patients we will save one day. I think we all have those patients in previous vet experiences, the ones you wish you could have saved. So, this is the reminder, whether living or those who past on what the end goal will be,” said Lander.

A motivational reminder of why they chose a career helping animals.

“It all goes around one centerpiece and that’s our class and that’s probably my favorite picture,” said Weyhing.

Students hope the photo board will motivate vet students coming in after them.

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