A Day in the Life of an Equine Veterinary Student

Hayley Rasmussen-Ball describes a typical 24 hours in the world she wouldn’t trade for anything.
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A Day in the Life of an Equine Veterinary Student
Hayley squeezes in time to ride her 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Joker, whom she got 'free to a good home' last fall. | Photo Credit: Courtesy Brian Ball

Hayley Rasmussen-Ball describes a typical 24 hours in the world she wouldn’t trade for anything

Maybe you are one of the hundreds—if not thousands—of young men and women who dream of working with horses every day in a veterinary career. Whether it’s the relentless dedication your own veterinarian displayed when handling a difficult case, a ceaseless hunger for scientific discovery, or a sense of feeling more “alive” when caring for animals, something about veterinary medicine has captivated you. Or perhaps you know someone who harbors that hope of being a veterinarian deep in his or her heart.  

If you’ve ever pondered this vocation, you might have researched what all is involved in making it a reality, by speaking with your own veterinarian or a pre-vet advisor at a higher institution. Sometimes it helps to see it through the lens of someone experiencing it right now. Because catching up with a overscheduled (and thoroughly sleep-deprived) veterinary student can be challenging, we’ve done it for you, by following fourth-year veterinary student Hayley Rasmussen-Ball of Washington State University’s (WSU) College of Veterinary Medicine through a typical day.

Toward the end of four years of undergraduate study, culminating in a bachelor of science degree, Hayley applied to three veterinary schools, competing for a coveted spot to undertake another four years of specialized study to achieve a doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM)

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Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

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