Three questions for … K-State’s Ally Fitzgerald

Kansas State veterinary student Ally Fitzgerald with an iguana

We’ve made it! We’re wrapping up 2019 even as we’re getting ready to take a break until after New Year’s. Our final featured veterinary student for 2019, chosen by Nationwide field veterinarian Dr. Emily Tincher, is  Ally Fitzgerald of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine‘s class of 2021.

Will you please share something unexpected you discovered on your path into veterinary medicine?

I learned how exciting and rewarding research can be in veterinary medicine. As an undergraduate student, I didn’t have an interest in research but after being a part of the Veterinary Research Scholars Program (VRSP) at K-State, I want to incorporate research into my future career.

I have participated in several canine ovariohysterectomy clinical trials lead by Dr. Butch KuKanich looking at novel methadone formulations aimed at providing long-lasting analgesia and less frequent dosing regimens compared to the options veterinarians have today. I am now leading a multi-institution toxicology project under the guidance of Dr. Steve Ensley and other faculty at K-State. We are trying to detect and quantify marijuana metabolites in serum and urine of dogs diagnosed with marijuana toxicosis.

Kansas State veterinary student Ally Fitzgerald with a mare and her newborn foalI have enjoyed collaborating with other researchers on these various projects with the end goal in mind to provide a benefit to animals across the globe.

What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?

I foresee veterinarians being able to provide closer to the “gold standard” of care more often due to the societal change in how people now view their animals as part of the family unit. Over the past couple of years, I have heard several friends and family members say things like: “I chose to live in a house that has a big backyard because my dog will have a place to run around and play.”

The ability to provide higher quality of care more often will be enhanced by veterinarians doing a better job of educating pet owners on the availability and affordability of pet insurance. Nationwide is one of the companies leading this change. By coming to veterinary schools and educating the future generation of veterinarians on the benefits of pet insurance, Nationwide is ensuring we are prepared to better educate our clients.

Would you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?

I really enjoy making stained glass. I taught myself this hobby as an undergraduate student, and I had an active Etsy shop. I also participated in several local craft markets while I was going to school in Utah, and I taught stained glass making classes in a yoga studio! I hope to provide the option of a stained glass pet portrait to my clients as a keepsake for them to cherish when their dog crosses heaven’s gates.

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Thank you, Ally and Dr. Tincher!

We’ll be back in 2020!