Celebrating success: A journey through the Atlantic Veterinary College

| Atlantic Veterinary College
Katherine Guarino, AVC Graduate
Katherine Guarino is graduating from AVC on May 14 as a doctor of veterinary medicine

When Dr. Katherine Guarino, a Class of 2024 doctor of veterinary medicine graduate, was applying to veterinary schools four years ago, the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island was a blip on her radar.

"When I made my first list of schools, I was planning on going wherever opportunity would take me," she explained. “It wasn’t until after I made connections with the AVC admissions staff, who guided me through the process, that I decided it was the best fit for me. They accommodated my whirlwind of thoughts and emotions as I moved countries during a pandemic.”

Guarino hails from Maine, USA, and moving to Canada in 2020 was indeed a whirlwind. That swirling continued as she adjusted to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and then reeled from the effects of Hurricane Fiona.  Her class battled two major crises in their time at the AVC and bonded intensely throughout.

“The AVC is like a little community in the corner of a larger university, which surprised me,” she said. “Students and faculty learned my name right away, and the smaller class sizes made learning unique.”

The experience has changed her profoundly as she is starting her career as an emergency veterinarian in Nova Scotia, where she plans to pursue her Canadian permanent residency. When asked about her decision to remain in Canada post-graduation, she said it was an easy decision for her future family.

“I've always wanted to be a mother. This is the only life goal of mine that is more important than being a veterinarian. I believe Canada is the best place for children to safely exist as they are while also discovering who they can grow up to be.”

For aspiring veterinarians considering a similar path, Dr. Guarino offers sage advice: "Make sure that you are ready. Not your study techniques, test-taking ability, or interview finesse, but your actual self. This is a marathon, so make sure you are taking care of yourself to make it to the finish line.”

As Dr. Guarino prepares to transition from student to professional, she notes the bittersweet feeling of leaving behind the familiar comforts of academia. Yet, armed with the skills and support gained from her time at AVC, she faces the future with confidence and optimism, knowing these four years prepared her to navigate any challenges that lie ahead.

Congratulations to Dr. Guarino and the entire graduating class of AVC as they embark on the next chapter of their veterinary careers. The AVC will celebrate their achievements at the White Coat Ceremony on May 14, 2024, at 2:00 pm at the Performing Arts Centre at UPEI.

Media Contact

Apryl Munro
External Engagement Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College