Our Nationwide field veterinarians have been very busy visiting the schools and colleges of veterinary medicine. Now, I’ve got some catching up to do. I’ll be posting a featured veterinary student each Tuesday and Thursday until holiday break, and then we’ll have more in the spring.
Next up: Kaitlyn Banks, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2020). Nationwide Field Veterinarian Dr. Cyndie Courtney chose Kaitlyn.
Will you share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?
I have learned to be proud of the little victories, such as successfully expressing anal glands, placing a catheter in a squirmy dog, doing well on a quiz, or even just understanding different physiological pathways. In the past, I only looked at the big picture, which is good to keep in mind, but I have grown to appreciate the day to day accomplishments that help give my life meaning.
I like to say, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”
What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?
There has been a shift towards a more family-oriented veterinary culture. Animals are more commonly known as being a part of the family, as opposed to just “property.” Veterinarians seem to be more family-focused, too. I have been told it is a “millennial movement,” which is completely fine.
As a veterinary student, I hear a lot about compassion fatigue. Veterinary professionals tend to get exhausted with the constant attempts to enhance animal health, but because of various reasons, they are sometimes unsuccessful. The weight of these losses can become unbearable and veterinarians are known for allowing work to consume their lives.
As with many other millennials, I plan on working diligently at work, with the understanding that there will be the occasional late night at the office, but I will always make time for my family. I have been very fortunate to have such a supportive family and I know how important that mutual support will be in the future for my family members. Considering my future, I will treat patients to the best of my ability, but will always make time for my family. Everyone has different priorities, and mine will be to keep a work-life balance so that both my family and my patients receive the attention they deserve.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
This is a tough question. I feel as if my veterinary colleagues know just about everything about me, especially my obsession about my dog, Ranger. After spending 24/7 with these people, who have become my second family, there aren’t too many surprises. One event in my life that my colleagues might not know about me is my academic progress in high school.
During high school, I took many dual enrollment classes. I was able to maintain the full-time high school life as a varsity cheerleader, homecoming queen runner-up, prom queen candidate, staying active in extracurricular activities while preparing for college.
By the time I graduated from high school in June 2011, I was three hours short of being a college junior. During my high school junior and senior years, I had been enrolled in four local community colleges in order to fulfill college general education requirements.
On the day of high school graduation, I was in Organic Chemistry class that morning at Western Carolina University, made it to graduation in Washington, North Carolina (seven hours away), and returned back to college by the next morning to take an exam.