Graduations everywhere, and another class of veterinarians are moving into their new careers nationwide! Not so for Kaitlyn Belanger, who’s a member of the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences class of 2018 at Oklahoma State University.
As she looks ahead to her eventual career, though, she believes technology is going to continue to change how people care for their pets — and she plans to be ready.
Belanger is one of two students I’m profiling this week. I got a little behind, and would like to wrap this feature up for the academic year. It has been a very popular series, so we’ll do it again next year. I am thinking of coming up with a different set of question, though. If you have any ideas for me, put them in the comments.
Now … on to Stillwater, where Kaitlyn Belanger is her school’s VBMA Co-President, VDI President, and Holistic Club secretary. She’s a busy person!
My inherent passion for animals was key to my decision. My parents set an example. Our pets were always a huge part our lives and one of my favorite parts of my childhood. My aunt and uncle, who are both small-animal practitioners, also influenced me greatly, guiding me toward veterinary medicine.
As I matured, I was also drawn to the opportunities this profession offers. I love to hear from veterinarians who are in positions of research, academia, industry, and other “nontraditional” veterinary roles. What other career path has so many options from which to choose?
Do you think new veterinarians will face different challenges than in previous generations and if so, what are you doing now to meet those challenges?
The biggest challenge our generation of veterinarians will face will be tied to technology. As we already know, Dr. Google has added difficulties to our client communications. But I think veterinary medicine will see more technological changes that will add even more challenges.
I don’t think it’s far-fetched to think that there will be an online veterinary urgent care services like the one that now exists in human medicine. These will take cases away from emergency clinics and general practitioners while allowing clients to feel like a trip to a veterinary practice is optional. My plan to meet this challenge is to stay aware of upcoming technology in the profession, and to expand my communication skills to help me to encourage people to visit a veterinarian. The relationship between the veterinarian, patient, and client is vital to all.
Can you tell us one thing about you that would surprise your future veterinary colleagues?
I have had at least one pet for each year I have been alive (23).