The school year’s not over until we feature more veterinary students! The latest, chosen by Nationwide field veterinarian Dr. Kristen Britton, is Kimberly Layne of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine‘s class of 2021. As always, there are some interesting things to find out!
Will you please share something unexpected you learned on your path into veterinary medicine?
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the veterinary profession has a lot of variety with regards to career options. For most of my life I imagined veterinarians in their traditional roles as clinicians in a hospital setting. After an externship with Dr. Pepi Leids, a field veterinarian with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, I began to imagine other “nontraditional” careers veterinarians may find themselves in.
Now as a veterinary student, I enjoy learning and helping others realize that veterinarians are everywhere, whether that be in hospitals, academia, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, in public health settings and in politics. This is what excites me about our profession: We are valuable members of society, and we can make a difference for the health and welfare of animals and people!
Advancements in science and technology will continue to influence and hopefully improve medical outcomes for our patients; however, I envision we’ll see other major changes in the profession as a result of technology. I imagine that we’ll see more mobile practices in metropolitan areas, that telemedicine will continue to develop, and that overall, veterinarians and pet owners will be more connected thanks to technology. Additionally, as attitudes in society shift we’ll see more animals involved in our day-to-day lives whether in coffee shops, at work, on trains or in airplanes. In the future, veterinarians will need to be more accessible outside of the normal hospital environment for their clients.
On another note, I hope that in the future the veterinary curriculum will require business coursework. With debt and student loans being such a hot topic, colleges should be requiring a business course as a prerequisite for applicants and we should have a formal requirement for business education in our professional curriculum. This would help provide new graduates with the knowledge they need to manage their debt.
Will you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
Many of my peers or colleagues may be aware that I was involved in the fashion industry and that I was Miss Idaho Teen USA. While I’ve always been interested in the entertainment industry, and in particular marketing and communications, most of my colleagues don’t know that I have a passion for science communication and outreach. Therefore, a personal project of mine outside of veterinary school is pursuing on-camera training and improving my communication skills for an audiovisual format.
Thanks, Kimberly and Dr. Britton!