Alabama, of course, is rare in that it has two schools/colleges of veterinary medicine. Tuskegee, whose Laurie Mang’eli I profiled a couple days ago, is the only college of veterinary medicine at a HBCU, which truly sets it apart. That is in no way is meant to downplay the importance of Alabama’s other veterinary school, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. When Nationwide field veterinarian Dr. Tonya Sparks lectured there recently, she chose Kelly Watson (class of 2020) to be the latest featured student. I’m glad she did, and now … on with the questions:
Will you please share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?
I was pleasantly surprised to learn of my passion for business and financial education. My first experience of this nature was in a personal finance class in my undergraduate school, Jacksonville State University. Once I understood the easiness of calculating mortgages, car payments, and retirement savings, I plunged into the realm of business ownership, profit and loss, and investment. VBMA has allowed the opportunity to learn on these topics and more, and I feel privileged to represent the club as Vice President while continually gaining the knowledge of entrepreneurship.
What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?
I imagine veterinary medicine to be more of a lifestyle for clients rather than an annual visit for routine care. I believe providing an integrative approach to my clients will allow a more comprehensive experience for pets and clients alike. This would involve physical therapy, nutritional advice, acupuncture, and more. I am currently studying acupuncture at the Chi Institute to provide more options for patient care. Acupuncture, among other forms of integrative medicine, provides me the tools to care for a patient outside of standard veterinary care. The future of veterinary medicine will be influenced by clients’ desires to provide a healthy lifestyle for their pet, versus the standard ‘band-aid’ approach to illness and disease.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
Outside of veterinary medicine, I enjoy woodworking, designing, cooking and hosting friends/family. These hobbies have inspired me to construct a business centered around providing services to people. I aspire to open my own bed and breakfast following veterinary school in conjunction with my career in veterinary medicine.
Thanks, Kelly, and thank you, Dr. Tonya Sparks!