October 5, 2012

Saying Goodbye to D.C.

By Dana Koch

I truly cannot believe my time in Washington, D.C. has already come to an end.  This externship was an absolutely wonderful experience and I feel honored to have been chosen.  I find myself even more excited about the opportunities awaiting me after veterinary school.  I am so thankful to the AVMA-GRD staff for being so welcoming, encouraging, and a wonderful resource for all of my questions.  I would really encourage other veterinary students to seize the opportunity to complete this externship and discover more about the role of veterinarians in the federal government and in other “non-traditional” veterinary careers.

After meeting with numerous veterinarians, each with such diverse career paths I realize that a veterinary degree can lead you down so many different paths and you can utilize the skills acquired in a variety of ways.  I have gained a broader perspective on the field of veterinary medicine and feel that it is essential for any student to learn about the variety of career options his or her career field has to offer.  A few of my favorite experiences were visiting the National Institute of Health (NIH), speaking with various veterinarians at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), learning to lobby on the Hill, attending ‘Pet Night’ and simply exploring D.C. with all the amazing activities and events it has to offer.  Now it is time to trade in my suits for scrubs and head back to Penn for some more clinical experience.  Thank you all for reading!

My dog Winston excitedly awaiting my arrival home