Our latest featured veterinary student is Grace Zhang (2020) of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She was chosen by Nationwide Field Veterinarian Dr. Tonya Sparks.
Will you share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path into veterinary medicine?
Don’t be afraid. Be OK with feeling that you might be wrong or unprepared. Quitting my full-time job after six years was scary, and when I applied to veterinary school I was not confident in my qualifications. Everything turned out, and will turn out, truly fine.
What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine and how does it influence the way you’re preparing to become a doctor?
I see veterinary medicine becoming more about people and technology. Treating and caring for animals is a given, but people drive this industry. How can we improve client satisfaction, take better care of veterinary professionals and students, and better collaborate and communicate for public health? Technology has and will play a major role. Social media, telemedicine, smartphones, and more have changed society, and veterinary medicine is catching up. Established and startup companies are changing how clients and practitioners interact and work, and we’ll see more changes as millennials and younger generations become clients and enter the industry with newer technologies.
While in school I’m taking every opportunity I can through organizations and conferences in order to connect with and learn from veterinary professionals and other students — some of the many people who will continue to develop veterinary medicine. I think “who you know” is harder to develop than “what you know,” so I’m making an effort on that.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
I don’t have a pet.