Texas Tech University

Student Spotlight: Ready to Serve the Veterinary Needs of His Hometown

Weston Brooks

April 12, 2023

Dylan Fishbeck learning ultrasound tips from professor

Dylan Fishbeck’s goal is to make a profound difference as a mixed animal practitioner in his community and beyond.

Dylan Fishbeck understands that rural towns have their ups and downs. He knows this firsthand as he was born and raised in Hallettsville, Texas, a population of 2,731 people. Hallettsville is in Lavaca County with a population of 20,337 people across the entire county. 

Growing up in a small town, Fishbeck noticed one major downfall – the shortage of veterinarians. This ignited a life-long pursuit for Dylan to focus his attention on making a profound difference in veterinary medicine and his community.  

After graduating from Texas A&M University with his bachelor's degree in biomedical science, he accepted his spot in the inaugural class at the Texas Tech University'sSchool of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. He is heavily involved in the program, such as being part of the large animal club, assisting in the writing of the bylaws for the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA), and much more.

Let's get to know Dylan Fishbeck through a series of questions. 

How did you become interested in veterinary medicine?Dylan Fishbeck helping a dog

When I was around 10 years old, my beloved miniature schnauzer, Savana, was hit on the highway and was severely injured. We only had one veterinarian in our town and the accident happened after hours on a Friday. Once we finally got ahold of the veterinarian, he met us at his clinic and saved Savana. This was the moment I decided I wanted to be help other people with their sick and injured animals. Also, I realized that there are more animals than one veterinarian can care for.

How does your previous life experience coincide with the School of Veterinary Medicine's mission?

I know how the shortage of rural veterinarians affects the people in our area. I also have worked with our local veterinarians, and I see how long hours affect them physically and mentally. They work long hours and seem to face burnout at an early age. So, I see that Texas Tech is working to alleviate these hardships by making it more affordable for those who wish to attend veterinary school. One thing I see veterinarians try to achieve is keeping up with all medical advancements in all types of species while trying to maintain a modern practice. This is exactly what I see the School of Veterinary Medicine emphasizing and is what I plan to do after I graduate and become a practicing veterinarian.

What led you to decide the School of Veterinary Medicine was the place where you wanted to pursue your career in veterinary medicine?Dylan Fishbeck practicing his skills using a model

Upon looking at Texas Tech, I got to see their world-class facility with their new state-of-the-art equipment. The school added a refreshing approach to teach us the skills we will need in our practice after graduation. Texas Tech treats us as colleagues, not just a simple student. The other attraction is this school is in my home state and the tuition is far more reasonable than others. Texas Tech also plans to have us out in the field our fourth year actually working with veterinary practitioners across Texas and New Mexico using the skills we have been taught to be prepared for real-life situations.

What does it mean to you to be part of the inaugural class at the School of Veterinary Medicine?

To be in the inaugural class is an honor. We will go down in history as being the first class of the first veterinarian school to be built in Texas in over 100 years. 

How was your first-year experience at the School of Veterinary Medicine?Dylan Fisbeck getting ready to work cattle

I learned very quickly that you must dedicate yourself to study. It is hard work. The staff and faculty are wonderful to talk to and help with anything you need. They are always available and respond to your request for help. The administration treats us very well and makes us feel like they appreciate us and treat us with respect. I have enjoyed my first year.

What are your career plans after graduating the School of Veterinary Medicine?

I hope to return to my hometown and assist the veterinarians we have in our area. They are overloaded with work and if I am able to assist them and give them a little relief, that would be my goal. We have an enormous rural area to cover, filled with plenty of large animals as well as beloved household pets. I would like to be a contributing factor to help with the care of these animals.

How are you going to help the School of Veterinary Medicine achieve its mission?Dylan Fishbeck after finishing first spay surgery

I plan to work with the other veterinarians in the area that I work in and not be an adversary. We are here for the good of the people and their animals. Eventually, I would like to set up a program to assist the elderly in my community that live on a limited income to be able to keep their companion animals healthy. Also, I would like to bring educational programs to our public to help with keeping their livestock healthy and productive. I will continue studying new and innovative medical practices to improve my knowledge of how to care for all animals in my area. Finally, I would also like to implement a program to encourage more young people to enter into animal health and encourage support for these youth to reach their goals.

What advice would you pass along to an incoming student at the School of Veterinary Medicine?

I advise incoming students to be prepared to study hard. You must hit the ground running and you do not want to get behind. Be prepared to work eight hours a day, like a job, and your studying like after-hour calls for help. This is not undergraduate school, this is the big leagues and you must act accordingly.