Three questions for … LSU VBMA chapter president Keith Jarrett

The weeks between NAVC and WVC are some of our busiest at VPI, since we’re trying to handle all our usual work plus what we have to do to get ready and to be at these wonderful events. And of course, it’s not at all uncommon to bring back a little something extra besides knowledge, CE credits and a little bit of a tan — a bug of some kind. A few of us seem to have brought that latter thing back with us to California from NAVC, which is why things were quiet here last week.

Because of social media, I know I DVM360’s Brendan Howard was also “lucky” in this way,  and you can hear the remnants of the germs he brought home from NAVC in his voice while he talks about our Nationwide® | Purdue Veterinary Price Index. He also wrote an article on our study, and I invite you to download our executive summary from the library — just click the link in right column of this site. Now here’s Mr. Howard:

This week’s everyone’s feeling better and catching up, looking forward to WVC right around the corner. That’s makes it a perfect time to share another of our “Three Questions For …” series, this time with Louisiana State University School  of Veterinary Medicine‘s Keith Jarrett, III, the LSU VBMA chapter president and a member of the class of 2017.

What drew you to veterinary medicine?

The classic story of enjoying being around animals and watching Animal Planet definitely applies to me. Some of the best memories from my childhood involve exploring my grandparents’ property with my first dog, Peety. However, there is a non-traditional aspect to my story. I entered LSU as a biological sciences major intent on applying to medical school. I investigated multiple facets of human medicine and never felt completely engaged. During this time, I began working for a veterinarian. I enjoyed interacting with the animals and clients, but I was especially excited about the application of medicine. Finally having discovered my passion, I decided to apply to veterinary school. To help prepare me for my interview, Dr. Curt Ritchie said to me, “Remember that we are the ones who help those that cannot help themselves.” The rest is history!

LSU VBMA chapter president Keith Jarrett, III, with dogs Sunny and Laika.

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?

I know that veterinarians of my generation will be facing many new and difficult challenges. We are constantly told that we are in the middle of a transition of veterinary medicine into a new technological era. While some may see this as a burden, I am extremely excited to see the mountains of data that can be collected from paperless files which can then be compiled into a study to help improve the entire medical field. This brings me to another challenge that I believe my generation should welcome with open arms — collaboration. Veterinarians of all ages have the opportunity to work directly with human doctors to better both fields. After having the opportunity to hear Dr. Natterson-Horowitz speak at Cornell about the idea of Zoobiquity, I have caught the bug and cannot imagine a world where “one health” does not exist.

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

During my Summer Scholars project last year, my mentor and I discovered a previously undescribed vessel that supplies the middle ear of the dog! Even with the vast amount of medical knowledge that already exists, I have seen firsthand that it is a living, ever-expanding entity and found my passion in trying to contribute in any way that I can.


Thank you, Keith! And anyone who is at WVC, drop by our new booth. You can sit down and charge your phone, and visit with our fantastic team.