Episode 52: Navigating veterinary school while battling a disability


On this episode of the Vet Blast Podcast, Jessica Hirsch, a veterinary student at Tufts University, opens up about taking a medical leave of absence during veterinary school, plus how she’s using her unique story to inspire and advocate for other students with disabilities.

Veterinary school is challenging, but a difficult diagnosis and a pandemic take it to another level. Jessica Hirsch, a second-year veterinary student at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine was diagnosed with Ethers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, causing her to take a leave of absence from veterinary school for brain and spinal surgeries. Now she’s integrating back into her classes amid an ongoing pandemic, no easy feat.

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Hirsch sheds light on the disorder that has resulted in several disabilities and how she’s overcoming these obstacles to achieve her dream of becoming a veterinarian.

Hirsch explains what it was like taking medical leave during a pandemic, how she’s empowering and raising awareness about people with disabilities in veterinary medicine, the silver lining of COVID-19 for veterinary students, and how her cat has inspired her future career plans.

Listen below for more on Hirsch’s motivational story.

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