During her recent visit to the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University, Nationwide Field Veterinarian Dr. Cyndie Courtney chose Kohl Brandon (2021) to be our latest featured veterinary student. This LSU student’s views on slowing down and giving back are inspiring!
Would you please share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?
Veterinary medicine has opened many different and unique doors to me, and it has opened my eyes to many new ways of caring for God’s wonderful creatures. One of the many things I have unexpectedly learned is how the public views veterinarians. I knew veterinary medicine was the best profession in the entire world (who doesn’t?), but I did not realize how much the public looks up to veterinarians.People see veterinarians as passionate, knowledgeable people regardless of the area of medicine they actually practice.
If you meet a stranger and mention that you are a veterinarian, or student in my case, the whole atmosphere of the conversation changes. Seeing the reactions from people when I tell them I am a vet student is one of the most satisfying yet motivating feelings. Seeing the amount of trust people put into us as vets, and then seeing the amount of satisfaction and happiness they have when you adequately meet the needs of their animal motivates me to never stop learning and never stop growing.
I believe it is far too easy to become complacent in our knowledge and skills, and this is something I never want to fall victim to. I truly feel we have the best profession in the world, and there will always be new things to explore.
What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing to become a doctor?
Veterinary medicine it a rapidly growing profession, especially in the area of technology. One thing I see as a young and upcoming veterinarian is that the human-animal bond is stronger than it ever has been before. It is growing exponentially and will continue to grow in the years to come. We see new jobs as a result of growing human-animal bond that we never would have seen years ago such as pet sitters, pet hotels, and even dog walking businesses. These innovative ways of caring for our pets keeps me on my feet thinking of the next possible big thing to hit the market.
With all the new businesses and apps that deal with animal care, I also believe people think they can diagnose their animal’s problems from the comfort of their couch, along with Dr. Google, and consequently, not bring their pets in for routine check-ups. Therefore, I believe that high quality communication with clients is an absolute must.
This world continues to move at a higher speed and wants to do things at a quicker and more efficient pace; however, I believe our mindset as veterinarians should be to spend time educating our clients about the health of their animal, as opposed to seeing as many patients as we can a day in order to keep productivity high. I feel like we should take time to get to know our clients, be it in the clinic or at local events such as festivals, ball parks, or other various events in our communities.
I believe that although the world keeps pushing for things to move faster and faster, the goal of a veterinarian should still be to assess the needs of the animal and also care for the needs of the client.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
One fact that might surprise my colleagues would be that I have a passion for people! I absolutely love meeting new people and hearing how their past experiences have shaped them into the people they are today.
Being a Christian has allowed me to go and serve other people through mission trips to both Kenya and Cambodia. In these countries, and many others, people heavily depend on animals for their livelihood; however, they lack the knowledge and necessary tools to adequately care for their livestock and pets. Becoming a veterinarian will open the door to serve on veterinary mission trips across the world, allowing me to do the two things I love most: serve people and care for their animals!