The Last Step

Externship Project

Hello everyone! My name is Malika Ladak and I am going into my clinical (and final!) year at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). I’m originally from Thornhill, Ontario, and completed my undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Guelph. Unlike a lot of other veterinary students who knew they wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age, I decided I wanted to pursue veterinary medicine later on in high school.

Growing up, I really enjoyed learning about animals and biodiversity, going on family trips to the Toronto Zoo and African Lion Safari, and watching the Discovery Channel. I was also very involved in extracurricular activities and sports, and have a very outgoing personality. As I did not have much exposure to veterinary medicine growing up, I decided to learn more about the profession by volunteering. Most of my experiences prior to veterinary school involved volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic and small animal clinics in Toronto and Markham. These experiences taught me more about this career path and helped me find my passion for working with wildlife and exotic animals!

Student veterinarian Malika volunteers with Global VetsThroughout my undergrad, I continued volunteering and working in several positions where I got to learn more about wildlife and zoo animals, including doing an internship at the Toronto Wildlife Centre and working at the African Lion Safari. I also volunteered in various ecology labs at the University of Guelph, and was involved with the College of Biological Science Student Council. As an OVC student, I also had the opportunity to be a part of the Global Vets program and work at the Toronto Zoo.

I’ve decided to choose the small animal stream for my final year, and I am very excited to complete my various rotations in small animal, exotics, and wildlife medicine! My first rotation is my two-month externship that I am doing at Aylmer Veterinary Clinic in Aylmer, Ontario. I’m very excited (and also slightly nervous) to apply what I’ve learned in school thus far to daily clinical cases and to experience what it’s like being a veterinarian in a general practice setting. I’m also looking forward to gaining more exposure to routine and non-routine surgeries and anesthesia to improve my technical skills in these areas.

The practice has five full time veterinarians and sees a range of animals, including dogs, cats, goats, sheep, rabbits and cows. My first few weeks here have gotten off to a great start and I’m learning a lot about appointments, client communication, surgeries, anesthesia, wellness examinations and vaccinations. The veterinarians, technicians and support staff have all been very welcoming and I’m really excited to share my experiences during my time here with you all. Each day has been very different so far, which makes it both very exciting and very challenging.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all over the next few months and hope you’ll find them interesting and inspiring! I know that I still have a lot to learn, and I hope these blog posts will help bring you along my journey as a fourth year student. Talk soon!