Three questions for … WSU’s Kylee Dayton (2023)

WSU Veterinary student Kylee Dayton

Between conferences and the transition from Dr. Carol McConnell to Dr. Jules Benson as our Chief Veterinary Officer with Dr. McConnell’s April 1 retirement coming up … we’ve been pretty busy! Fortunately, so have our field veterinarians, who’ve been lecturing at the  veterinary schools and colleges. After a recent visit to Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, our Dr. Kristen Britton chose Kylee Dayton for our regular veterinary student feature.

Take it away, Kylee!

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

I grew up confident that my calling was to work with and care for animals. How exactly I was going to bring this dream to fruition often seemed overwhelming and impossible. As I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in wildlife resources, I discovered my enthusiasm and aptitude for veterinary medicine.

I had never considered becoming a veterinarian because I perceived myself as someone with too many shortcomings to be able to accomplish such a prestigious ambition. I viewed myself as someone who was squeamish and bad at science.

The most profound lesson that my path to veterinary medicine has taught me is that we, especially as veterinary professionals, often doubt ourselves significantly. It has taught me to believe in my strength, and it has brought me to a community in which I have found unwavering support. My confidence and self-awareness has grown immeasurably, and I have gained a community in which we form genuine relationships with one another.

We truly crave success for one another in order to nurture ourselves as individuals and as a whole profession.

WSU vet student Kylee Dayton with black-and-tan puppyWhat is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?

I see the focus of conversation being mental well-being, community, and culture within the veterinary profession. I value the opportunity to create relationships with my veterinary classmates and colleagues. We each have the responsibility to empower one another, and this I do not take lightly. I plan to lean on this community and let my classmates lean on me during vet school. Fostering our veterinary community now will only strengthen the profession as time goes on.

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

One of my favorite passions in life is fostering baby animals! In between graduating with my bachelor’s degree in 2014 and starting vet school in 2019, I had many foster animals- neonates and older babies — mostly kittens, squirrels, bunnies, and birds.

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Thank you, Kylee and Dr. Britton!