Three questions for … Tuskegee’s Laurie Mang’eli (2020)

Our field veterinarians are really into the school year now as we lecture (either in person or by webinar) at the wonderful schools and colleges of veterinary medicine where tomorrow’s colleagues are today. At each stop, we find a student to feature. Today, it’s Laurie M. Mang’eli (class of 2020) of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Laurie was chosen by Dr. Tonya Sparks. (I personally enjoyed seeing her e-mail signer, which reads: “Home is where my dog is … currently Tuskegee, Alabama.)

On to our three questions:

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

Prior to veterinary school, I knew veterinarians were either general practitioners or specialists. I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of career opportunities available. I began my journey certain that I wanted to be a GP in a small animal clinic, and possibly own a clinic or two down the line. Along the way, I got involved with opportunities in public health, clinical pathology and integrative medicine. Integrative medicine was quite possibly the most intriguing career path to me. I did my due diligence researching how to incorporate Eastern and Western modalities and was instantly convinced that integrative medicine is indeed good medicine!

Laurie2What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?

I look forward to when integrative medicine is incorporated into the U.S. veterinary curriculum. Meanwhile, I plan to participate in AHVMA conferences and the Chi Institute program, as well as other avenues to build my knowledge of Eastern medicine and how to harmoniously incorporate it to Western medicine.

Along with that, I’m hoping to see veterinary students taking time to focus on self. A colleague once said to me, “I’m purposefully and consciously choosing to be kind to myself.” Veterinary school can be all-consuming if we allow it to be, especially given that a good majority of us are “type A” students. On top of being a third-year veterinary student, I am a peer tutor, the VBMA Chapter President and AHVMA Chapter Delegate. Often I have caught myself drowning in responsibilities, but I actively prioritize my responsibilities and if something has to be done the next day — so be it! I also have an amazing group of friends  I can rely on to keep me sane! If nothing else, I can say Tuskegee University CVM has given me some of the best friends.

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

The one thing that repeatedly surprises my colleagues is that I am Kenyan. I can almost always anticipate their response *shocked face* “… But you don’t have an accent”. I enjoy telling people about Kenya. Surprisingly, majority of the people I have spoken to associate Kenya with running, but unfortunately, those genes skipped me. I hope to form/collaborate in veterinary externship opportunities to Kenya in the future so more people can experience my country. This past summer, I took a classmate home with me to experience Kenya and she loved it.

Thank you, Laurie, and thank you Dr. Sparks for choosing her!