My name is Rachel Orth, and for almost a year now, I have been helping out at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. What started as an internship during the school year turned into a summer position as a technician assistant. Both of these roles have been wonderful opportunities for me to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at what it is like to be a veterinarian and work with animals! My goal is to go on to veterinary school after finishing my undergraduate studies and one day don my own white lab coat and stethoscope.
Like many aspiring veterinarians, my story follows the “I’ve loved animals ever since I was little” cliche. I cannot recall a defining moment when I first started dreaming about working with animals. However, I’ve never wanted to be anything else. There has always been at least one pet in my house, including different dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, and a turtle. Right now, I have 2 cats, who provide plenty of companionship (and entertainment). I started asking my own vet about the career before I was in middle school.
In preparation of my future career, I took as many science courses and electives as I could, including AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology. During my internship with AHDC, I spent 2-3 hours after school at the hospital cleaning tables and rooms, stocking various supplies, and holding patients for the technicians. Fortunately my internship turned into a summer position! As such, I have been able to continue helping around the hospital and observing the veterinarians!
All in all, my time here at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County has shown me that this is what I want to do in life. Despite all of the challenges on the way through veterinary school as well as all of the difficulties of practicing medicine once out, I still see this as a fulfilling and worthwhile career. Science and animals are two things I love, and it is a wonderful feeling to be able to help a sick pet get better. There is also the fact that each day has the potential to bring new experiences. This is a field in which you have to continue to learn and be willing and able to adapt to new, possibly tough situations. With all of this and more ahead of me, I am more than excited to take the next step. Wish me luck!