Three questions for … Iowa State’s Rachael Ostrem

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but visiting with veterinary students is one of the best parts of my job as Chief Veterinary Medical Officer at Nationwide.  I love visiting our schools and colleges of veterinary medicine, too!

Recently I’ve hop-skipped across the country visiting with the next generations of our veterinary colleagues. Now, I’ll be writing some blog posts sharing a few of these students with you! This is from my interview with Rachael Ostrem, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2020):

Will you share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?

I grew up on a family farm, and from the age of eight I knew what my dream job was. Since then, I have devoted my time to getting into veterinary school, learning all I can about animals and agriculture. I had assumed I would someday be a private practice owner and that would be my final career path. I would still like to accomplish that goal, but since arriving at veterinary school my eyes have opened (and it is still a little shocking!) to how many different career opportunities there are within veterinary medicine. I have been exposed to veterinarians who work for large corporations, who built hospice care centers for pets, radiologists who work from home, and veterinarians who are also lawyers —  just to name a few. I have learned about so many new careers available to vets. I am excited to find my own veterinarian niche.

Iowa State Rachael OstremWhat is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine and how does it influence the way you’re preparing to become a doctor?

The future of veterinary medicine is a very dynamic one, and I see two things happening that will only continue exponentially. First, technology is expanding almost faster than we can learn how to use it. New tests, machines, and equipment will revolutionize veterinary care and our ability to save lives that might otherwise been lost. Everything from advanced smart phones to new radiograph machines is  affecting the profession, and my role in it. I try to stay up to date on new improvements happening, but I know that when I am in practice that will become an even bigger priority. Secondly, the world population is also increasing exponentially. I come from a farming family and I know how crucial farmers and veterinarians are to feeding the world. I am preparing to help with that challenge as countries like ours work to feed more people on less farmland by gaining as much experience as I can as a young person.

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

I am a very open person, but something my peers might not know about me is that I hope to be an author as well as a veterinarian. I have written a script that could possibly be published someday (maybe when I can stop study for exams). I have always loved to read and hope someday someone will enjoy reading my book – or books!