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Meet Andrew Backman

Andrew Backman was awarded the MVM Foundation Margaret Pomeroy Scholarship (Awarded to a second-year veterinary medical student with both financial need and good scholastic standing, with preference given to a Minnesota high school graduate.)

Andrew has aspirations of working in rural Minnesota. It was in rural Minnesota on his family grain farm where his love for the profession began. Read below to see his insight on the profession, veterinary school and what winning a scholarship meant to him.

What inspired you to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?

There has never been a time in my life when I didn't want to become a veterinarian. Growing up on my family's grain farm in rural Minnesota, gave me plenty of opportunities to get involved with neighboring livestock farms, the humane society, and local veterinary center. Once I could drive, working at the local veterinary center was a great way to gain experience and start saving for college while being surrounded by professionals. It was there where I saw the impact we can make in the everyday lives of our community members.

What have you learned the most about the profession so far?

Once I began veterinary school, I realized just how many career routes a veterinarian can take. General practitioners are the backbone of this industry and are also what most people imagine when thinking about this profession. However, we also have veterinarians who work in specialty care, and teach the next generation of veterinarians the skills they can build their career upon. I also realized just how many jobs there are for veterinarians in government work, public health, and research. And we all work together to make this a better industry!

What are your career goals?

My primary goal is to become a traveling surgical specialist for communities in rural Minnesota. I love the idea of providing expert level care with the same veterinary team that families are already familiar with. My goal is to be able to create genuine relationships in these small towns over the course of my career, while serving as a resource for families who don't have the financial means for specialty care in metro areas.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I received prior to starting veterinary school was written for me on a flashcard. It reads "There will be many days where it may feel like you aren't good enough, smart enough, or strong enough for this. Know that you are." It hangs on my bathroom mirror and serves as a great reminder - especially when classes are difficult.

What advice would you give to somebody who is considering going to college to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?

Don't worry so much about what everyone else is doing. It's so easy to compare ourselves, and beat yourself up. There are so many brilliant people in this industry, so focus instead on the unique attributes that you bring to the table.

What does winning an MVMF Scholarship mean to you?

Receiving this scholarship means financial freedom, and that I'm one step closer to paying off student loans. It gives me greater flexibility to stop worrying about part time jobs while providing me more time to focus on the classes and experiences that will make me a better veterinarian.

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