Three questions for … Ohio State’s Pauline Pau

Our latest featured veterinary student is Pauline Pau (2019) of the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kristi Yee of our team of field veterinarians made the selection when she was recently on campus to lecture.

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

I am astonished at the vast amount of opportunities offered in veterinary medicine. When I first started veterinary school, I had thought that diversity in our profession meant exotic medicine, equine medicine, food animal medicine, etc., but ample opportunity also exists in the government, military, industry ,and even technology to name a few. As if that isn’t enough variety, our industry is constantly evolving and new segments may be added if one is innovative enough to create it. Take Dr. Stephen Reichley, a 2013 graduate of The Ohio State University, for example; he created his own niche in aquaculture which was a route seldom explored during his time.

Although it was unimaginable initially to see myself doing anything other than indefinitely working in clinical practice, I also learned that there is ample room to develop in our own careers along the way. Many professionals I have encountered have had multiple career changes up until their current positions, most of them unexpected and wonderful. At the present, I have my sights set on practice ownership and eventually industry, but who knows where this profession will take me. I look forward to finding out what the future holds and feel very fortunate to be in a profession with such endless possibilities.

Pauline1What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?

Low-stress handling has been gaining momentum in the past few years. Where Fear Free was unheard of previously in Southern California, many practices are now starting to implement these techniques and obtain certification. This is a win-win for both the veterinary care team and their patients as both parties are safer when fear, anxiety, and stress are minimized.

I can vouch for the effectiveness of these techniques as I have seen the success of it in action when I volunteered with Faithful Forgotten Best Friends, a non-profit organization providing veterinary care for the underserved pet population. There, I dealt with animals who have had minimal exposure to veterinary care so we were cautioned in advance at the possibility of aggression. Through the implementation of low stress handling, however, we were able to help the animals reduce their fear and provide them with the care that they needed.

As more practices start to realize the benefit of Fear Free techniques, I predict that it will eventually become the norm. Demand from pet owners will also drive its popularity especially as the subject becomes better known, with influential veterinarians advocating for its implementation.

While I am fortunate to gain some exposure to Fear Freee techniques through my school’s curriculum, I am working towards obtaining my level one Fear Free certification to prepare for future practice.

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

I was involved in an all-female racing group called “Drifting Pretty.” There, I learned the basics of working on cars and even more advanced procedures such as swapping a limited slip differential.

The club occasionally participated in racing events and my favorite was autocross. The event involves the driver navigating through a course made from cones as quickly as possible. Eager to get involved, I actually drove my family’s old Honda Accord for my first event but I later purchased an immaculate 1991 Mazda Miata to race.

Unfortunately, the car was sold before I moved to Ohio for veterinary school in preparation for the cold winters. I now drive a 2004 Subaru WRX which is all-wheel-drive, designed to handle any sort of weather nature throws at me. Luckily the past two winters have been mild but if you ever happen to be sitting in my car, don’t be afraid because you are in good hands.

Thanks, Pauline!