Much as I love talking to veterinary students, I didn’t intend for me to write about them twice a week. But I’m trying to get a student from each program in before the end of the academic year, and that means a few weeks I’ll have two. I have quite a few non-student “Three Questions” posts coming as well. In the meantime, I enjoyed working with Ali Terrell on this post, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Ali is a student at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2016), where she serves as president of the VBMA chapter.
I always feel great about our profession when I talk to our future veterinarians. This week Sharon Weatherspoon and Ali Terrell made me happy for veterinary medicine.
What drew you to veterinary medicine?
Like most, I have aspired to be a veterinarian since childhood. My father is in the veterinary pharmaceuticals industry, so I was exposed to many great and successful veterinarians from an early age. In elementary school I spent my breaks or days off working with my dad while he called on veterinary clinics. Sometimes he would drop me off at a clinic in the morning so I could spend a full day working with the veterinarians and their staff. When he came to pick me up at the end of the day I always wanted to stay longer. Eventually I began working at a clinic over the summers during middle and high school. Although I am unable to recall the conscious decision to attend veterinary school, this path has always seemed natural. Veterinary medicine is a career that will allow me to be a member of the community, own a small business, practice medicine and work with people and animals. I can’t imagine anything that would suit me better.
Do you think new veterinarians will face different challenges than in previous generations, and if so what are you doing now to meet those challenges?
Each generation has their own set of challenges. From many conversations with my grandparents, my “baby-boomer” parents and others from those generations, I have found their concerns at age 24 to be categorically similar to my own. Although social media did not exist and students loans were not the concern they are today, those who came before before us have overcome the Great Depression, World Wars and Presidential assassinations — significant challenges, in other words.
I believe a positive attitude, hard work and self-determination will separate those who are successful from the rest in our generation.
Can you tell us one thing about you that would surprise your future veterinary colleagues?
My favorite day of the year is opening day of dove season. My family and our friends come together for a big barbeque and a day of hunting. Not only do I enjoy the fellowship, but I also believe responsible recreational hunting to be essential to the continued well-being of wildlife. As an undergraduate student I was able to work on a research project to mitigate deer-vehicle collisions. This experience allowed me to see firsthand the importance of hunting in maintaining wildlife populations at appropriate levels.
Thanks, Ali! Next Friday I’ll have another “Three Questions for …” blog post.