The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Stacy Eastman: USA – Class of 2015

Small Animal Associate Veterinarian

Stacy Eastman
Stacy Eastman

Why did you choose to study at The University of Edinburgh?

I chose to study at Edinburgh because I wanted more from my veterinary school experience than my previous studies.  While completing my undergraduate degree, I was unable to study abroad due to my demanding and strict schedule. I felt that I was missing out on a huge opportunity, so I decided to expand my search for veterinary school to overseas institutions. I went to an information session about Edinburgh and it quickly became my top choice. From my first interaction with staff and hearing about the Dick Vet, it felt like it was much more than just a school. I immediately felt welcome and that I was part of a “family”. From day one, I felt supported by a whole organisation rooting for me and my success, which I felt and still feel is rare at this level of education. That being said, who wouldn’t want to live and study in a beautiful place like Edinburgh?!

How did the R(D)SVS contribute to your career choices?

I started my journey with goals and a vision of what I wanted to accomplish with my career.  The R(D)SVS helped give me the knowledge, tools and guidance to get to where I wanted to go. Along the way, the School opened my eyes to the vast opportunities available in our profession. I was encouraged to try new things and push beyond my perceived boundaries or limitations. These moments helped mold my career choices, as well as providing me with more understanding of myself personally.

What is your present occupation?

I am a small animal veterinarian.

Did your Extra Mural Studies (EMS) placements help you in determining the field of veterinary medicine you wanted to pursue professionally?

EMS was crucial in figuring out what field I wanted to work in. I was able to use this as a platform to try new things without it being a long-term commitment.  I am thankful that UK schools have EMS as part of their curriculum. If I had gone to a school in the US, I would not have had this opportunity.  I felt a lot more prepared for my first job because of EMS. I also felt more well rounded from the experiences I had on EMS. 

Can you tell us of any personal or professional achievements in your career progression?

My biggest achievement to date has been identifying when I needed to make changes.  My first job was very demanding and it took a huge toll on my physical and mental health. When in Edinburgh, mental health and having a good work/life balance was discussed regularly. Because of this, I had the foresight to identify that I was struggling. I also had the confidence to stand up for my health and wellbeing and make a change.  I am much happier in my new job and am excelling!

If you could offer some advice to prospective students what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to experience failures.  I have learned the most from the failures I have experienced along the way.  And don’t be afraid to take chances. I moved thousands of miles to another country to study veterinary medicine.  I had never even visited Scotland before starting University there. Moving to Scotland and studying in Edinburgh was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

How would you rate the support staff?

10/10 They were amazing!

From my first interaction with staff and hearing about the Dick Vet, it felt like it was much more than just a school. I immediately felt welcome and that I was part of a “family”.