First and foremost, congratulations on earning the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference Scholarship! Quite the honor.
Thanks! To be chosen for this scholarship means that someone out there believes I have the power to initiate change, and I hope to prove them right.
Mind telling us a little more about the scholarship?
Sure. The AVMA offers scholarships for new graduates/AVMA members that are interested in developing their leadership skills and who hope to use these skills to make a difference in the veterinary profession.
Who doesn't hope to make a positive difference in the profession in which they work in.
So what’s your goal for VLC?
I want to expand on my knowledge I gained in 2014 to be a positive force in my workplace and the veterinary profession.
What happened in 2014?
I was an officer for SCAVMA at Ross Vet, and I had the wonderful opportunity in attending the Veterinary Leadership Experience, led by Dr. Betsy Charles.
That had to be a great experience.
Definitely! One of the most important things I learned at VLE was I had to, first, know my strengths and weaknesses, before I could learn how to effectively work in a team. It's hard to believe that it's been just over 3 years since attending VLE, and I am still skimming the surface on what it means to be a leader.
Well, it seems like one of the ways you’re trying to further being a leader is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Mind talking more about that?
As a veterinarian, it is expected you be a steward of your patients' health, and not surprisingly, your clients, as well. Informing your clients about zoonotic diseases, providing emotional support to clients during euthanasias, and providing excellent care for companion/service animals are just a few examples of how the veterinary field also affects the health of our clients.
So pursuing a degree in public health allows me to learn how to be a better steward to everyone's health; human and animal alike.
That’s great! When will you graduate from George Washington University with your degree?
Since I am currently working as an emergency clinician, I have been taking classes part-time online through for the past year. I hope to obtain my MPH by the end of 2020.
What are your plans after earning your Master’s?
My hope after graduation is that my clinical experience and MPH will have properly prepared me to enter an Anatomic Pathology Residency.
Interesting. Why pathology?
When I was an undergraduate at University of Central Florida in Orlando, I was very active in the pre-veterinary society on campus and met with many veterinarians in different fields. That is when I met a pathologist at Disney's Animal Kingdom who inspired my interest in veterinary pathology.
Since then, my ultimate career goal has been to become a veterinary pathologist, but I decided to gain experience in practice before pursuing a residency.