Three questions for … Wisconsin’s Allison Volk

Allison Volk and an Irish Setter. Allison is vet student at the University of Wisconsin, class of 2022.

We’re wrapping up our student features for the year, and the honor for the last student of 2020 goes to Allison Volk of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2022). Allison was chosen by Dr. Jayme Cicchelli, one of our Nationwide field veterinarians.

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

Veterinary medicine is just as much about caring for people as it is about caring for animals. This is something that a wonderful veterinarian I shadowed in college told me, and it really resonated with me. I have always had love for animals and animal welfare, but for me I did not really understand why I felt drawn to this profession until this nugget of wisdom was bestowed on me.

Bringing comfort and support to my clients through the treatment of the animals they care deeply about is how I hope to frame my work as a veterinarian in the future.

Vet student Allison Volk with a raptorWhat is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?
The goal I have for the future of veterinary medicine is to see our profession become
increasingly diverse. History has shown that our field has become progressively more occupied by strong women. This was of great benefit to me as young student considering vet school. It empowered me and gave me confidence that I could thrive in the veterinary profession. I hope that throughout my career I can see underrepresented groups be lifted up and empowered to pursue the veterinary profession as I was, and in preparing myself to become the best doctor I can be I hope to develop strategies to improve my own ability to lift others and encourage people of all races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations to pursue the profession that I love so much.

Looking for the silver lining, is there one positive thing you think our profession can take from the COVID-19 pandemic?

I believe that in having to adapt to the pandemic, veterinary medicine has been pushed forward technologically, to great benefit of the profession. Telehealth medicine, for example, has allowed greater access to care for sick/disabled clients or clients who live in areas with limited veterinary services. Within the teaching hospital at UW-Madison, virtual meeting spaces have allowed for greater collaboration and access to clinicians both for students and for other veterinarians. The pandemic has caused hardship on countless people, but hopefully some of the changes that were made can persist once we are through these challenging times.

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Thank you, Allison and Dr. Cicchelli.