A new beginning: An associate veterinarian starts her own practice

Sign for Hometown Veterinary Hospital being installed

Editor’s note: When Nationwide field veterinarian Dr. Kristi Yee told us she was starting her own practice, we were very happy for her.  And when she suggested that she blog about the experience, we couldn’t say yes quickly enough. We hope you’ll follow along with her story, We promise you’ll gain some very good information along the way. –– Dr. Jules Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer.

Like many veterinarians, I knew at a young age the profession for which I was destined. I was passionate about helping animals, medicine and being a practice owner.

At the age of 15, I solicited multiple local veterinary hospitals marketing myself as a “sanitation engineer.” In school, I doubled up on sciences, and I left my family and friends to attend a Caribbean school of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Kristi Yee and her parents, Lily and Gene Yee.
Dr. Kristi Yee and her parents, Lily and Gene Yee, in front of what will be her own veterinary practice.

I constantly felt like I was sacrificing my social life for my career aspiration. While this calling wasn’t the expected career path of a second-generation, Asian-American woman, my determination and my family’s unwavering support propelled me forward.

For many of you, your biggest post-graduate fears are the possibility of killing an animal in your care, student loans and whether you know enough. It may have been a while since you’ve felt confident and comfortable with yourself, waking up thinking, “I’ve got this.”

After seven years of practicing as a small animal medicine associate and speaking at veterinary schools on behalf of Nationwide, the best part of my job was on most days, I felt competent. Believe me, this will happen for you too! It was on my drive home one day that I realized I was becoming complacent. While the thought and preparation to own a practice was always on my mind, it was time to take the leap.

At that moment, feelings of relief and excitement washed over me, quickly followed by an overwhelming feeling of, “where do I even begin?”

 Follow along, and you’ll find out as I go!

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Dr. Kristina (Kristi) Yee is a graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Within her first year as a veterinarian, Dr. Yee was practicing full-time at a six-doctor small animal hospital, lecturing at national conferences, speaking on behalf of and supporting Nationwide at veterinary schools across the country. Her passions include advancing her veterinary medical/business competencies and assisting members of the profession in reaping the benefits of their dedication. Growing up in a suburb outside of Detroit, Dr. Yee takes great pride in her family, work ethic and her ability to serve as a community role model. She currently resides in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

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