Just in time for the lead-in to the Memorial Day weekend, I am introducing you to the first of the last two veterinary students I’ve featured this year. What a fantastic addition to our profession these women and men will be!
Blair Bennett of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is a student of the “big picture,” with an avid interest in all aspects of veterinary medicine. As with all of our featured students, I’ll be interested in seeing where she ends up in a few years.
On Friday, I’ll present the very last of our student features for the current school year. We’ll have an entire new slate of them coming in the fall, and some student news over the summer as well.
Will you please share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path into veterinary medicine?
I didn’t realize what a huge role veterinarians played in the One Health Initiative. It’s amazing to me that veterinarians play a critical role in not only the health of animals but also in the health of humans and the environment. It is a known fact that the global population is continually expanding. With this expansion, there is a greater pressure on the animal agricultural industry to produce safe products as efficiently as possible. Veterinarians are a critical resource for farmers and ranchers as they strive to provide the healthiest foodstuffs possible.
Additionally, society has seen a marked increase in the value of the human-animal bond. Therefore, veterinarians have a responsibility like never before to educate people on the relationship between their own health and that of their pets.
What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?
Veterinary medicine is constantly changing and improving, and I think the future of our profession will be no different. Technology in our profession is expanding so quickly and is allowing veterinarians to treat animals in a way like never before. New machines, tests, and treatments means an increased potential to save more lives. I think it is such an exciting time to be in veterinary school, and it is so important to try to stay up to date on the new advancements. I also think these technologies will mean huge improvements in food animal medicine. Our human population is growing rapidly and veterinarians will play a huge role in helping farmers produce more products using less resources.
I am using my time in veterinary school to gain as much knowledge and experience so that after graduation I will be prepared to enter our profession as it advances and faces new challenges. I also realize that with so many new technologies in veterinary medicine, continuing education will be more important than ever for me and my colleagues.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your future veterinary colleagues?
During my undergraduate education I was a member of my university’s track and field team. I threw the hammer and discus and spent much of what would have been free time at practice and workouts. I found it to be an extremely rewarding experience, and it taught me a lot about time management, patience, and hard work. Being on an athletic team was also a great stress relief — and that is something I miss a lot!