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Lauren Hensley returns home to practice veterinary medicine

Lauren Hensley

Lauren Hensley has returned to her hometown to practice veterinary medicine and joins her dad, J.D. Hensley and partner, Wayne Haidsiak at Tri-County Veterinary Services.
Lauren, a 2013 Lenox School graduate, started her first year of college at Northwest Missouri State University and was undecided as to what she wanted to do. Part of the way through that year, she decided she wanted to be a vet.
“I’ve always gone on calls with dad as a kid and I’ve always been around the clinic when I was growing up,” said Lauren. “I’ve always had a love for science and a love for animals. My freshmen year of college I decided I was going to get my biology degree and then try and apply for vet school.”
Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in general biology.
She started the process of applying to get into veterinary school the summer before she graduated from Northwest. “I was lucky enough that I actually worked at the vet clinic quite a bit so I got a lot of vet hours in,” said Lauren. “You have to have certain prerequisite classes you have to take for most vet schools.”
Lauren also had to take the GRE, a standardized test, and then she applied through a program that goes out vet schools. Students wanting to get into vet school have one national website called VMCAS and all vet schools go through VMCAS. Transcripts and essays are sent to them. The student’s application is then sent out to the vet schools.
Some schools may require interviews. Lauren interviewed with Iowa State University, her number one choice. She said most vet schools do not require the interviews anymore, partly due to COVID, and partly because of the travel expense to the student.
Iowa State University accepts about 150 students each year but that can change each year. ISU has an agreement with the University of Nebraska where their vet students attend two years at Nebraska and their last two years are spent at ISU for their clinical time. Lauren said her class had about 60 to 70 from Iowa and the rest of the students were from out of state.
The last year of vet school, students begin their senior year as soon as they complete their junior year; they do not get the summer off. Students spend their senior year on two-week rotations, going from small animal surgeries and anesthesia, bovine medicine, to equine medicine, working in the large and small animal hospital, and in the labs.
Vet students are not required to do internships; once they graduate, they can go right into a veterinary practice. “A lot of times, vet students try to find good mentorships to help guide you in your first few months of getting out into the real world and then you can go out on your own.”
She graduated in May of 2021, exactly 30 years after her dad graduated from the same school. She started working at Tri-County Vet on June 2.

(left to right) J.D. Hensley, Lauren Hensley, and Wayne Haidsiak

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