Lindsay Gallagher (C'11) is one of the stars of a new six-part series, Life at Vet U, which premiered Oct. 1 on Animal Planet. The docuseries profiles six students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine during their senior year.
The show begins with Match Day where students learn where they will study and work as residents. It details the challenges the students face as they go from class to clinic, how vigorous the med training is, and the passion they each have for what they do.
Thanks to the time she spent on her grandfather's farm, Gallagher has always had a love of animals as a child and hoped to pursue a career in ecology and wildlife conservation.
As an undergraduate student, she came to Georgetown to study biology with a concentration in ecology. She spent many hours in the observatory at Georgetown, in Dr. Janet Mann's Animal Behavior class helping to conduct research on dolphins, and learning about research analysis in Dr. Gina Wimp's Ecological Analysis course. As part of her service requirement, Gallagher also volunteered at the Washington Humane Society. She soon discovered how much she enjoyed working with cats, dogs, and other pets, and began to consider a different career path—veterinary medicine.
"It means so much that you get to help both the the pets and the people."
"[For my clinical hours] I took three buses and the metro to get to the animal shelter multiple times per week, but I loved it." said Gallagher. "It's really great when you're able to help someone's animal—they're so thankful," she said. "It means so much that you get to help both the the pets and the people."
Making connections with Georgetown alumni who were veterinarians also had a profound effect on her.
"When I was thinking about pursuing a veterinary career, I used the Georgetown Alumni Career Network to find a few alumni who were veterinarians," she said. "I will always remember the email I got back from one of them, who wrote, 'Welcome to the greatest profession on earth, and to the elite group of Hoya veterinarians!'"
Now that she has finished her studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she plans to continue to practice veterinary medicine and dreams of owning her own business.
"My favorite part of working as a veterinarian is when I start out with a patient who's very reserved—whether from fear, illness, or abuse—and through my knowledge of behavior, I am able to break through and make a connection with the animal," said Gallagher.
Catch Life at Vet U on Saturdays at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet.
All photos courtesy of Discovery Communications, except where noted.