Three questions for … Tuskegee VBMA president Sharon Weatherspoon

I hope you are enjoying these “Three Questions for …” posts.  I know I am! I love talking to my colleagues, and I especially love listening to the views of  veterinary students. Over the years VPI’s work with the National VBMA as well as our outreach to all the chapters has helped to develop the skills young veterinarians need today. I feel very proud to see these students enter our profession.

Today’s “Three Questions for …” subject is Sharon Weatherspoon, the 2014 Tuskegee VBMA chapter president. She’s a member of the class of 2016 of the Tuskegee University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

SharonWWhat drew you to veterinary medicine?

In my experience animals show unconditional love very effortlessly. The love I have received from numerous pets prompted me to also take care of other people’s animals. Every day animals show me how I should be treating my human companions,  and they humble me into being a better person.

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

I am a strong believer in the idea that the more things change the more they stay the same. There have been numerous medical innovations, novel procedures and vaccines that have saved countless animals and humans. Yet the medicine and the character of veterinarians have remained the same, and we still want the best for our pets today as we did a 100 years ago.

Veterinarians are facing challenges that have never been faced before. Student loan debt and starting income is a major concern for me and for many of my classmates. It is a huge financial burden to pay off student loans while trying to buy a practice and live a comfortable life. I have obtained a financial planner so I can personally map out my loan debt, living income and expected practice fees. I am trying to be proactive and grab the bull by the horns. I cannot stop my student loan debt, but I can empower myself to not fear it.

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

I am interested in alternative holistic medicine. I believe a bridge between alternative medicine and contemporary medicine is the forefront of veterinary medicine.


Thanks, Sharon! On Friday I’ll have another “Three Questions for …” post.