Earning Your Stripes in Vet School - Ross

Meet Ross Bernstein, a fourth year veterinary student at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. You can find him on Instagram at @vet_rozay.

My family is originally from South Africa, and I spent many months of my childhood learning about wildlife and conservation there. Working with animals is in my DNA — I'll always cherish my memories of going on safari and escaping into the African bushveld. Though my favorite animals will always be cats and dogs, I'm equally passionate about helping all our animal species. 

The year after college, I was working at a wild animal rehabilitation center in rural South Africa and became part of an emergency rhino rescue operation. I watched closely as an expert team of vets worked with power tools and potent medications to do everything they could to bring this massive, prehistoric creature back to life. 

Watching them, I thought about how cool it would be to one day do work like that — and get to spend the rest of my life doing it. That's when I decided definitively that I wanted to become a veterinarian. 

That day, my dream was cemented, and now I'm just one year away from it becoming a reality. It's been an amazing journey — and you can continue on it with me on Instagram at @vet_rozay.