Three questions for … Missouri’s Melissa Cespedes (2020)

Last in our current series of features on veterinary students is Melissa Cespedes of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine (Class of 2020). Thanks to Dr. Cyndie Courtney for choosing her!

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

Before beginning veterinary school, I was fairly aware of the variety of career options available for veterinarians. However, I did not realize just how vast those options are. It is truly inspirational to meet veterinarians that have used their DVM not only to practice clinical care, but also to get involved in other positions in their community. Dr. Cyndie Courtney [Nationwide Field Veterinarian]  is one of those people! As someone who is always looking to get involved in new activities, I am delighted to know I do not have to limit to myself to just one facet of veterinary medicine.

Although veterinarians can have various career tracks, I have learned that the world of veterinary medicine is a very small one! Veterinarians in this profession have connections with other doctors all across the country and in diverse areas of practice. Because of this, seeking advice on patient cases or referring clients can foster a community network of people dedicated to the betterment of veterinary medicine.

Melissa Cespedes3What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?

One of the wonderful aspects of veterinary medicine is that it is continuously evolving. New discoveries are constantly being made in science, diagnostics, and technology — and as a result, veterinary medicine expands and develops into a greater, more encompassing field. Particularly, I envision more and more opportunities for veterinary work in One Health. As veterinary students or veterinary professionals we have a major focus on animal health. But we are capable of making a much broader impact because of our particular skills and knowledge that we can apply to global health. Not only is veterinary medicine used in food animal production and in controlling zoonotic diseases, but also veterinary research in comparative animal health makes contributions to human medicine.

The idea that veterinary medicine is a continuous learning process excites me for my future career since I know I will always be challenged and will have endless opportunities to engage in.  The possibility of contributing to the global health aspect of veterinary medicine motivates me even further to explore opportunities in the future.

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

One of the first things I like to know about people is their zodiac sign. I am very interested in astrology and follow it passionately. I read my horoscope every month and I am always shocked when something happens one day exactly as my horoscope explained it would. This year, we had the solar eclipse, and I was so fortunate to choose Mizzou for vet school because Columbia, Miss., was on the path of totality for the eclipse! It was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen and I got very emotional because of the astrological meaning behind it. If you ever get the chance to watch a total solar eclipse, I highly recommend that you do!


Thanks, Melissa!