The truth is, if you want to be a good vet, a love for animals is important but not enough. Behind needy animals are people – caregivers, adopters, fosterers, rescuers – who have a say and role to play in the animal’s life. You have to care about them too.
Today is our National Day.
Never a better time to share the story of this earnest student. Who believes in reaching out to our fellow men (and animals). And doing the best he can!
I have always wanted to be a vet
I vaguely remember being scratched by a big dog when I was really young. Instead of being scared of dogs, I wanted to learn more about them. Being a vet would give me the opportunities to work alongside and understand animals, and also put my interest in science and medicine to practice.
After graduating from junior college, the natural path would be to enter a local university.
At that time, Temasek Polytechnic started the Veterinary Technology diploma. To many people, going to a polytechnic is a step backwards. But I decided to pursue what my heart tells me to do.
“Teamwork & the ability to work harmoniously with others is very important. Effective communication & empathy are also vital attributes.” Kent (white tee) worked as a wildlife facilitator at Jurong Bird Park after graduating from Temasek Polytechnic. But he was still carrying his bigger dream of becoming a vet.
My family has given up a lot for me to pursue my dreams
I am exceptionally thankful to my family who encourage me to pursue my dream although it is a financial burden for them to put me through vet school.
I am also grateful to everyone I have met and worked with along the way – teaching me, guiding me, giving me opportunities to learn. And most importantly, encouraging me to stay the course.
the road has been rough and patchy
Balancing work and studies is not easy for me. I am trying my best to complete my studies while appreciating the journey. Going through vet school has taught me about patience, perseverance and treasuring the friendships and bonds we build along the way.
For those who wish to venture into the veterinary field, go volunteer and work in a veterinary setting before deciding. It will be a long journey with loads of commitment and financial planning.
But if it is your dream, then never stop pursuing it. Nothing beats the joy of doing what you love!
“did i miss out anything?”
This question is like a spiralling doubt in my mind.
In an ideal world, you treat a sick animal after gathering all the information via examination, history and diagnostic testing. In reality, our hands are often tied because of clients’ financial constraints and expectations about veterinary care and cost.
Despite the challenges, we do our best to find out the underlying problem, come up with a treatment plan to suit our client’s financial capabilities, and alleviate suffering of our patients who cannot speak.
euthanasia is one of the toughest parts of being a vet
I remember an old Labrador named Mei Mei while I was a Vet Tech at Mount Pleasant (Whitley). She was hospitalised for chronic renal failure. Even though she was very weak, she always wagged her tail at us. Her family made the heartbreaking decision to euthanise her. On her last day, we spent time with Mei Mei in the private room, with her favourite food, before she was put to sleep. It was impossible to hold back tears. Her family let her go because they love her.
Kent started working with Mount Pleasant as a Vet Tech after graduating from Temasek Polytechnic. 3 years ago, he took a leap of faith & enrolled in The University of Glasgow to be a vet. He is currently back on student attachment, getting close & closer to fulfilling his dream!
BESIDES ANIMALS, I am an avid Lego fan!
I also enjoy photography and sports like basketball, fencing, badminton and cycling. I cannot imagine myself in any other professions but if I really cannot be a vet, I might be a chef!
in 10 years time…
I hope to complete my studies and spend a few years in a hospital to gain experience and exposure. If I have the opportunity, I would further my education by completing a specialisation. Contributing back to society, like teaching part time in school, is also something I have in mind.
“I will always remember these words from a client – It isn’t about how many vets are out there but how many sincere vets we have. Don’t ever forget why you first wanted to be a vet. Be a vet who truly cares.”
“I believe in giving your best in whatever you do, wherever you go. Never stop being your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit.”
Skills can be taught. Kindness and integrity are qualities we are born with. They remain constant ~ wherever we go, whoever we meet, whatever we do.
“Kent’s dedication and ambition to perform to the best of his ability, is extremely high. He exudes a calmness around animals and people. We can’t help but feel confident that he will do the right thing. I feel privileged to have met him.” ~ Dr Gloria Lee, AMK Veterinary Surgery