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“The thing that’s important is that you like science and you’re very good at it,” she says. “A lot of people don’t realize that. It’s a lot drier than you think it is. It’s very scientific.”

Dr. Walsh says the veterinary industry is concerned that not enough graduates are tackling the less popular but crucially important positions involving food safety and public health matters. Undergraduates, he says, don’t appreciate the wealth of roles they can play in the field.

“They’re influenced by the Animal Planet television [channel],” he says. “Those are the popular images of what a veterinarian does.

“The push now… is to try and get students more knowledgeable about the breadth of the profession.”