OzTREKK Special Feature: What to expect in vet school

14 July 2021

Future vet students, meet Dr Lianne Mellin, a New Zealander who completed her vet degree at UQ. Dr Lianne has graciously accepted our request to share her “vet student experience” with us, and this is her first blog!

Take it away, Dr Lianne!

You’ve done it! You’ve finally made it into vet school. But now, what should you be expecting? Is it similar to high school? Is it similar to other university degrees? Are you even good enough to be in vet school?

UQ veterinary graduate Dr Lianne Mellin holding cat
UQ Veterinary School graduate Dr Lianne Mellin

Short answers? An adventure. No. No. Definitely!

Prior to starting my veterinary degree at The University of Queensland, I completed my Cambridge A Level International Examinations at high school, and a year of a Bachelor of Science degree at Massey University. On my first day of vet school, I walked into the lecture theatre thinking I had it down pat—I had some pretty good grades at university and I felt like I knew how to study efficiently and effectively.

Turns out I didn’t.

There is a huge amount of knowledge to gain whilst studying to become a veterinarian. Because of this, rote learning every fact just doesn’t work (for the majority of people). It’s important to learn to study in order to understand, not to memorize. To me, that was the hardest part of vet school. It took me a long time to figure out my best study method, and, if I’m honest, it changed every year of my degree and with each subject.

But, that’s enough about the daunting side of vet school because you’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

Expect to get your hands dirty
Quite literally! It’s a vet student’s rite of passage to learn how to diagnose pregnancies in cattle (yes, this involves long gloves and a lot of lube). You’ll also get to scrub into surgeries as you move through the degree… eventually performing your own!

Expect to be challenged emotionally
From new life to the end of life, you’ll see it all and be very involved every step of the way. Speaking about your emotions with your colleagues shows strength and bravery. Never be afraid to share how you feel.

Expect to meet your best friends
You spend every day with your cohort, so use it to your advantage. Share notes, teach each other, comfort each other, and celebrate with each other. I promise you, these people will become your family.

Vet school is an adventure. It’s not an easy one, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. Now go out there and have the best time!

Dr Lianne Mellin BVSc (Hons)
The University of Queensland Class of 2020
Follow Dr Lianne on Instagram and YouTube!

Interested to follow Dr Lianne’s whole journey? Check out her very first video—when she was in Year 3! Although Dr Lianne applied from New Zealand, some of her experiences of getting into vet school might feel a little familiar….

Are you thinking about studying veterinary science at UQ?

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) program at UQ is a fully accredited undergraduate course which you can enter directly from high school or after completion of university studies and graduate in just five years as a veterinarian.

Program title: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Program duration: 5 years
Application deadline: UQ Veterinary School has a general application deadline of November 29 each year; however, you are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadline. The earlier you apply, the better!

Start your application to UQ’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science program!


Do you have questions about UQ Veterinary School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Admissions Officer at vet@oztrekk.com for more info!

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