Enjoying these features on veterinary students? I sure enjoy finding out more about tomorrow’s colleagues! During a visit to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz., Nationwide Field Veterinarian Dr. Kristen Britton chose Cara Donnici (2021) to get the “Three questions for …” treatment. Take it away, Cara!
Will you please share something unexpected you discovered or learned on your path to veterinary medicine?
I was not too surprised to find long days and hard choices — and the many, many rewarding tales. I have been, however, surprised by my passion for collaborating with the public; educating, assisting, just listening. Compassion has been an oasis from the frustrations of situations that are out of my control. Our responsibility to our patients extends to their owners, and even further to their communities. Whether it is for a vaccine visit or an end of life discussion, I believe that understanding, kindness and providing information or resources serves everyone. I continue to discover my ability to accept what I cannot change while searching for solutions, rather than dwelling on what the ideal should be. I am thankful for this wonderful field of veterinary medicine pushing me to grow in a beautiful way.
The future is bright and open for those who are ready to seize opportunity. I am constantly made aware through lectures, seminars and veterinary journals of the diverse roles veterinarians play in our society. We can find an evolving career where we can explore our ambitions without fear of being trapped in one area indefinitely. We can start in general practice and move into specialty, or involve ourselves in legislative action, or even work with public health. I’m allowing myself to be open-minded to opportunity, to solidify my core values and principals that will ultimately guide me in my career path. Most importantly, I am using my time in school to learn from my professors, speakers and colleagues. I know one day, sooner than I may even believe, I will be the doctor making these decisions, and I will be gratefully acknowledging their words of wisdom.
Can you tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise your veterinary colleagues?
I am originally from a small suburb of Kansas City, Mo., born and raised. I moved to Phoenix the fall of 2014 with my animals, with my RAV4 pulling a U-Haul packed with everything I could bring. What may surprise my veterinary colleagues is that this had been a dream of mine since age 12. I visited Phoenix one summer — yes in July! — and knew it was where I needed to be.
This feeling never faded, and fate showed its a hand in a 2012 article about a new veterinary college to be opened very soon in Glendale, Ariz. I followed my intuition to achieve my dream of living in the valley of the sun. I could not be happier to have been so stubborn — I mean perseverant. This spirit is what has fueled my passion in veterinary medicine and keeps me strong during finals week, reminding me of the DVM dream career ahead. Pursuing a goal, regardless of the magnitude or outcome, is time never wasted.