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Class of 2017 Story: Achieving a Huge Life Goal

Morgan Matthews
Hometown: Monroe, N.C.
Focus/post-graduation plans: Small animal; residency at Tufts University in July

It took me three times to get into veterinary school.

To be consistently denied had a big impact on my confidence and I scrambled to figure out back-up plans. I had this idea in my mind of where I wanted to be by the time I was 30. After the second rejection, I decided to stop waiting around and applied to both veterinary and pharmacy school. I was accepted to both Campbell and UNC-Chapel Hill pharmacy schools on my first try.

I put down my non-refundable deposit to Campbell and my confidence was at the highest it had been in years. Two months later, I found out I was accepted to the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. It’s not hard to guess what I decided.

Now I am 29 and about to graduate with my DVM. I couldn’t be happier.

During veterinary school, I made a pretty radical change in my goals halfway through my third year — I fell in love with pathology. Dr. John Cullen teaches a non-domestic animal pathology selective in which we go over histopathology in a small group and perform necropsies on any non-traditional animal we can. 

My small animal general practice goals were replaced with a plans to get a pathology residency.

I had already planned my fourth year as a small animal focus student, so again I scrambled. I changed my schedule as much as I was allowed in order to fit in externships to visit other pathology departments and to get as much pathology experience with our own department. I’m going to be an anatomic pathology resident at Tufts starting this July.

My husband and I have never lived anywhere but North Carolina. It’s going to be a huge change.

I am still in shock that I am achieving everything I’ve wanted. I still feel like a kid.