The academic year is a wrap for our features on veterinary students! Last but not in any way the least is Chloe Bradway, class of 2021 at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. She was chosen by Nationwide Field Veterinarian Dr. Cyndie Courtney after a visit to the campus.
What a great group of students we’ve met this year!! I’m already looking forward to fall.
Will you please share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path into to veterinary medicine?
When I used to hear the word “veterinarian,” I immediately envisioned a white-coated doctor leaning over an exam table and looking at someone’s new puppy.
My first year in veterinary school completely changed what the word “veterinarian” now means to me. I discovered that veterinary medicine is in practically every aspect of life. Veterinarians play a crucial role in public health, food safety, research and so many more facets of life than I previously knew.
The profession and process of becoming a veterinarian means so much more to me now, and continues to mean more to me every day, as I meet laboratory animal veterinarians, nutritionists, company representatives, USDA inspectors and others in positions I never imagined. While the occupations for veterinarians are much more diverse than I previously thought, each veterinarian I have met has at the heart a desire to keep animals healthy and allow them to provide the companionship, food and labor that has become inherent to human life.
My pride and respect for this profession and what we are capable of doing for the world grows as I continue to realize the unexpected superheroes that veterinarians are for both animals and people.
Having had the opportunity to travel internationally and see the different challenges animals and people face in other parts of the world has influenced me to become more involved in the international affairs of veterinary medicine by joining the International Veterinary Students’ Association as the junior representative at Oklahoma State University.
I believe our profession has much to gain by collaborating with veterinarians across the globe, especially as international trade continues to grow and with it more chances for the introduction of non-endemic diseases.
My vision for the future of veterinary medicine also involves seeing our profession embrace the idea of helping animals help people. In many of the countries I traveled to, animals were the providers for their villages. They provided food and labor, acted as currency and transportation. Without their animals, many families would have been destitute with little ability to provide for themselves.
The health and well-being of the animals is critical to the health and well-being of the people, and so as a future veterinarian I want to incorporate the mindset that when I set out to help an animal I also have the goal of helping the person attached to that animal, too.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
After graduating high school, I had an apprenticeship with a welder lined up—and a backup plan of going into the air force if that fell through. I participated in robotics in high school and most of my experiences pointed toward a career in welding, mechanics, or engineering of some sort. However, after an experience shadowing my local, rural veterinarian, I started thinking more and more about the veterinary profession. I enjoyed the problem-solving involved in diagnosing animals and the way cases were worked up.
Working with machines and computers was enjoyable — and still is — but the ability to intervene in the life of a living, breathing, feeling creature is even more exhilarating. After traveling to multiple different countries with rural populations that were many decades away from seeing technological advancements, I decided that the best and longest-lasting impact I could have on the world was to become a rural veterinarian. Everyone needs to eat, and in three short years I hope to be working toward the solution of feeding the world’s growing population.