The Journey of One Post-Bacc Pre-Vet Student from Music to Medicine

Sarah Eaton took what she calls a “round about” way to get to a career in medicine. She grew up playing the violin and focused on a musical undergraduate education including time at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Geneve conservatory in Switzerland. But somewhere in between practicing and violin performances, she felt compelled to switch careers and consider medicine, but she wasn’t sure how.

She jumped at the opportunity to train as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with a transport company and began to work as a technician in a Philadelphia emergency room. That experience confirmed she wanted to pursue medicine. “I still needed some of the core sciences for medical school, so I decided on UVM’s Post-Bacc Pre-Medical program,” said Sarah. UVM’s Post-Bacc Pre-Med program is designed to provide students with the prerequisite coursework and access to research and direct patient care experiences to enhance their applications to health and medical school. The program offers several specialized tracks, including a track for MD or DO, Pre-Dental, and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. 

Sarah was able to add to her patient care experience by working in the emergency room at UVM Medical Center. But while she enjoyed learning about human health, she pivoted once again, shifting her focus to animals and becoming a veterinarian. UVM’s program provides flexiblity and supports students who may want to consider changing the direction while still pursuing a career in health. 


Once the decision was made, with the help of UVM’s personalized advising, Sarah was able to quickly add a microbiology and genetics course to her plan. She made a list of veterinarian schools and checked off the requirements needed to apply. 

“I really wanted to confirm that I was moving in the right direction, so for one semester I actually paused my coursework to work fulltime at the Burlington Emergency Veterinary hospital. That solidified that I wanted to finish my coursework at UVM and apply to Vet School,” 

Now as a second-year student at Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine, she says that the UVM program prepared her very well for the next step.


A career in veterinary medicine can be stressful, and the education can be a financial burden for many students. Sarah says that one of the reasons she chose CSU Vet School was for the mental health support that the school provides students. “We have a counselor that is dedicated just to the Vet students, and a financial advisor for one-on-one and group meetings, and at the teaching hospital a special group of social workers that help students to navigate difficult topics with clients and support the vet students. This school makes sure that we feel like we belong here.” 

Now reflecting back on her time at UVM, she offers a bit of advice to Post-Bacc Pre-Vet or Pre-Med students, to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the beauty of Vermont. “I had a love of Vermont before I even moved there, and I really wanted to live there, and to this day I still absolutely adore Vermont. UVM was a great program, and I liked the flexibility that UVM gave me. And I’m really happy that I went there. I think Vermont is fantastic.”


Learn more about the Pre-Veterinary Medicine specialized track at UVM’s Post-Bacc Pre-Medical program today.

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