Three Questions for … Purdue VBMA’s Shea Rolf

At our recent meeting of our Nationwide Veterinary Advisory Board (more on that in the next post),  I was happy to see the enthusiasm my colleagues continue to show over Nationwide’s support of veterinary students, and of the VBMA in particular.

They were also happy with my featuring veterinary students as part of the popular “Three Questions for … ” series. With that in mind, I’m delighted to bring you Shea Rolf, Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2017, and an officer of the university’s chapter of the VBMA.

What drew you to veterinary medicine?

To put it simply: The patients. I’ve been asked this question a time or two before and I often say, “I prefer patients who will bite me instead of lie to me.” I have yet to find something as rewarding as working on our patients. Their will to survive is tenacious, unrivaled, and always keeps me going. Additionally, I was drawn to the field for its number of diverse career paths and the ability to move from one to the next with much greater ease than human medical fields.

Shea2jpgDo you think new veterinarians will face different challenges than in previous generations? If so, what are you doing now to meet those challenges?

New veterinarians are absolutely facing different challenges than previous generations. If not entirely different, the magnitude certainly is. One such challenge is the ever-increasing debt-to-income ratio. I will be part of a planning committee tasked with addressing the factors that contribute to this issue which will ultimately lay the framework for a more comprehensive educational economic summit to be held at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the spring of 2016. Also, as an officer for the Purdue VBMA, I’m always working with my board to provide more education on the business side of veterinary medicine, with the goal of having our members feel prepared for their first jobs.

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

Our profession is more than a career – it’s a calling. You could say I was a bit “hard of hearing” as it took me years to hear the call. I have always loved animals and been fascinated by them but for nearly a decade I investigated human medical fields. I thought human medicine was cooler than veterinary medicine then I came to my senses.

For the longest time I thought that I was going to apply to medical school. In fact, it took until my junior year in undergrad to “hear the call.” Yet, I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to be part of veterinary medicine.


Thanks, Shea! Looking forward to what will be coming out of the Michigan State CVM conference!