Before the pandemic closed all our universities, our Nationwide field veterinarians were busy as usual lecturing at schools and colleges of veterinary medicine. Now our team — like so many others — has gone to virtual visits and webinars.
But before everything changed, we had four student features in the pipeline. We don’t want to cheat those wonderful future veterinarians out of their turn in the Nationwide spotlight, so we’ve decided to go forward with them, even though there’s no mention of the current situation.
After these four students, our “Three Questions” will be changing.
The last of these four students is Colleen McCammond of the North Caroline State University College of Veterinary Medicine, chosen by field veterinarian Dr. Tonya Sparks.
Will you please share something unexpected you discovered on your path to veterinary medicine?
It is never too late to try something new. And the biggest “failure” is never failing because it means I will have never tried to stretch myself. After undergrad I went directly in the military and never even tried to get into veterinary school. There were a few reasons for that, but one of them was just not believing in myself and having a skewed view of success that didn’t include the option of failing.
Part of the beauty of vet med is that it is so diverse and there are so many niches. When it comes to general practice, while we have seen an increase in corporate med, there is also a desire for boutique type med. I think the growth of boutique pet foods is an example. Because of this, while there will continue to be high volume care, there is also space for growth in unique services and convenience care.
I am serving in the Army Veterinary Medical Corps upon graduation, so I won’t be able to own my own business right away. However, no matter what sector a veterinarian works, innovation and leadership skills are important to be agents of positive change. Even if we aren’t in a practice we own, we are leaders and still are able to influence our workplaces. By being heavily involved in the Veterinary Business Management Association and Christian Veterinary Missions Fellowship at NCSU, I’ve gotten to practice combining skills of leadership and service to effect positive change in the world.
Would you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
I’ve discovered along the way that I need creative outlets for myself. This has come out in several ways including making custom leather-bound journals, custom bottle cap key chains, making memes, or painting. It doesn’t even have to be anything big. One time I even drove my roommate crazy by saving up candy wrappers to see if I could weave a small basket out of it. Sometimes a project is about the challenge of learning something new, sometimes it is about expressing myself and sometimes I just want to see if I can make a thought come to physical fruition.
Thank you, Colleen and Dr. Sparks!