I’m at the VetPartner‘s meeting in advance of VMX (formerly the NAVC conference), but thanks to the “miracle” of scheduling, I am happy to present our first featured veterinary student of the year: Washington State’s Hannah French.
She was chosen by Dr. Kristen Britton, one of our Nationwide Field Veterinarians, when Dr. Britton visited the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine recently. Take it away, Hannah!
Can you please share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?
There are so many directions a veterinarian can go with their degree! Before I was really immersed in veterinary medicine, I thought the extent of our options were to either go into research, small animal medicine, large animal medicine, etc. I was thrilled to see how many opportunities we have so we can each find our own unique niche.
I currently plan on working in a clinical setting, but I think it’s important to keep an open mind. It’s exciting to know that I can expand into another area if I want to.
What is your vision for the future of veterinary medicine, and how does it influence the way you’re preparing?
Communication has gained a huge emphasis in veterinary curricula and throughout the field as a whole. This career is so much more than simply caring for the health of animals — it’s effectively communicating with clients and working with your team to provide the best possible care and experience for everybody involved.
Animals have a great influence in our lives, and throughout our daily appointments we interact and care for somebody’s heart and livelihood. It’s so important to remember this to ensure that both clients and animals know they are valued. I have had a taste of this as a second year during our Diagnostic Challenge and am looking forward to our Client Communications course next year.
I believe that the best doctors are those who can go beyond the medicine and really connect with clients and colleagues to form lasting relationships. I decided to become a veterinarian because I’m passionate about both animals and people, so I hope to develop my skills in this area to become the best doctor possible.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
Travel is my absolute most favorite thing to do. I’ll find any excuse to go someplace new! Last summer I (very sporadically) went to Europe for a few weeks with zero plans or expectations and ended up making some of my favorite memories. I’m happiest when wandering through new cities and experiencing new things. I hope to incorporate my love for travel into my career as much as I can!