May 23, 2012 - Dr. Angie Lusty will soon have patients that could tip the scales a half a ton.
Angela Lusty, horse Charity and dog Reeses. (click for larger version)
The rather hefty clientele will soon be all in a day's work for Lusty, who recently completed her studies at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Lusty credits the people around her for helping her through the last nine years.
"My family and friends were very supportive," said Lusty, 26, a Powers High School graduate and Atlas Township resident.
"I met a group of friends through vet school and we would spend hours in the library together, studying. We all learned from each other throughout the four years of grad school," she said.
A standard degree in veterinary medicine takes roughly four years of undergraduate studies followed by four years of graduate school and an exhausting amount of studying. On top of an extreme workload, colleges of veterinary medicine are particularly competitive, explains Lusty, who graduated with a class of 104 students.
"In general, there are only 29 vet schools total in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, making it more competitive than the human medical school counterpart," said Lusty.
Being accepted into veterinary school is difficult, but is just the beginning of a long, arduous process. Professors recommend the typical amount of study time should coincide with the number of hours you are sitting in the classroom. This means Lusty spent 40 hours in the classroom and approximately 40 hours studying outside of class each week.
As strenuous as veterinary medicine is, Lusty had a strong motivation early on to pursue this career.
"I loved animals, but I liked the science behind everything," she said. "Understanding how things worked interested me. I knew from an early age that this is what I wanted to do, no matter what the challenges."
Currently, Lusty focuses on equine medicine or mixed large animal medicine. She explains that the most difficult part of large animal medicine is persuading people that she can accomplish the job at hand despite an animal's size.
"There are ways to use your intelligence if you don't have (muscular) strength," she said. "You have to be smart about the way you do something rather than relying on strength."
Although Lusty feels that the job outlook for equine medicine is not great in the state of Michigan, she is still determined to make her mark in the local community. "Someday I would like to open up my own practice in the area that I grew up, either in Grand Blanc or Goodrich."
Angie is the daughter of Lynn and James L. Lusty of Atlas Township.