Three questions for … Wisconsin’s Rachel McNally, M.S. (2020)

Continuing our “Three questions for … ” series on veterinary students, Rachel McNally, M.S,  of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine was chosen by Nationwide field veterinarian Dr. Kristi Yee for this feature. Take it away, Rachel!

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

When I started down my path to veterinary medicine, I was under the impression that veterinarians could either be private practitioners, work in academia performing research, or in referral practices. This impression has significantly changed throughout my veterinary education. I have come to understand the true impact of our role as veterinarians. We can influence government policy, we guard food safety, and we can implement public health policies that benefit the health of humans and animals. Furthermore, we play a crucial role in the advancement of knowledge surrounding diseases and treatments. The many careers available to veterinarians continues to astound me as I learn more about this amazing profession. This knowledge has confirmed that this is the career that I am meant to be in, and I cannot wait to graduate and be part of such an influential group of individuals.

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

My vision for veterinary medicine is that we continue to be forerunners in the implementation of One Health and continue to advance the medical knowledge surrounding human, companion animal, wildlife, and environmental health. I want to contribute to the future of veterinary medicine by studying infectious diseases that threaten to jump between our food animals, companion animals, ourselves, and wildlife. This can best be accomplished by collaborating with other medical professionals, conservation specialists, and primary research investigators. With this partnership, I can help bring new knowledge to local communities and educate owners on how to protect the health of their animals as well as themselves.

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

When my veterinary colleagues get to know me, they will find out that I am the happiest when I am outside. And that’s whether I am walking my dog in -10-degree weather during a Wisconsin winter, or I am hiking down the Grand Canyon with my family in 90-degree heat. Regardless of what I am doing, if I have the chance to work outdoors, you will find a smile on my face. What is surprising is that this passion for the outdoors led me to veterinary medicine. It is a career that I can visit client farms year-round or perform conservation work in the field. There are countless ways for me to find happiness outdoors through veterinary medicine.

Thank you, Rachel and Dr. Yee!