Meet Qiao Yoke: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

Veterinary school was a journey requiring hard work and commitment for Qiao Yoke, but it helped her fulfil her childhood dream.

Qiao is originally from Singapore and moved to Australia to complete her studies in the Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the University of Melbourne.

As a veterinary student, she was frequently asked, “Why do you want to be a vet?”

“It's actually pretty hard to explain something you have wanted so badly since you were young! Of course, it stems from my love of animals as a child,” says Qiao.

“As I grew older, I observed the complex interactions between humans and animals and realised that we rely on them as much as they do on us.”

Qiao's journey from the Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Realising that she wanted to play a part in preserving and enriching the bond between humans and animals, while encouraging better animal welfare, Qiao completed a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Animal Health and Disease) at Melbourne. She then commenced the DVM through our accelerated pathway option - this gave her the opportunity to become a certified veterinarian in six years, rather than seven years.

Qiao applied for the DVM course in the second year of her undergraduate degree and, upon receiving her acceptance, started DVM subjects in her third year of undergraduate study. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she was enrolled as a second-year graduate student in the DVM course.

Life as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student

For Qiao, the highlight of her first two years as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student was our compulsory pre-clinical placements. Student placements are designed to help build your understanding of the role of veterinarians in different industries.

Born in a densely populated city, she was excited to travel out into the rural countryside and explore Australia! Qiao found it an extremely rewarding cultural experience, as she was kindly hosted by farmers who were generous in sharing their knowledge and skills.

The third and fourth years of the DVM are mostly spent at the University's Werribee campus where students learn to apply their knowledge in clinical settings, doing things such as diagnosing and treating diseases.

While Qiao admits that there is a fair bit of theory to get through, vet school is not all about the books. The Veterinary Students Society of Victoria (VSSV) is the main student body representing members across all year levels of the DVM program. Qiao was part of the committee and helped to organise events throughout the year to allow students to relax and mingle with other year levels.

She also ran the Students of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (SVECCS) where her committee helped to organise lectures and workshops for the students to learn material beyond our syllabus. Never missing the chance to get involved, Qiao volunteered at the University’s equine hospital and emergency hospital, an experience that offered her the opportunity to observe and learn in real-life situations outside class hours.

Vet school is not the easiest journey, but it was a very fulfilling one. Aside from the medical knowledge and skills, the friendships Qiao has forged in her six years of study were her most precious takeaway.

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