Why did I become a veterinarian? Well, because.
Because when I was a little girl living in Southern California, I fell in love with Randolph Mantooth and Emergency 51 on TV and just knew I was going to be a paramedic. When we moved to Northern VA (in the DC metro area), I had to leave Randolph Mantooth behind, but not my intrigue with paramedics and medicine. To this day, I think paramedics are the coolest people ever.
When I was a junior in high school, my aunt said I should look at veterinary medicine because someone had to be a champion for animals since they couldn’t talk for themselves and it would be like detective work. I started working in a veterinary practice and fell in love with the animals and the technical aspect of the work. I loved the female veterinarian there (females were in the minority at that point in veterinary medicine) who encouraged me to look into the field.
Because everyone said how hard it would be to get into veterinary school and how easy medical school would be – I love a challenge and didn’t want to be told that I couldn’t do something. My dad gave me a personalized license plate that said “Dr. Seus” which always reminded me how proud he was of me and that he believed I could get into veterinary school and basically follow my dreams.
Because every summer in North VA, my dad had NC State alumni picnics in our back yard, up to 300 people sometimes, so I was taught to bleed RED very early in life. NC State was always my calling and they were opening up a new veterinary school there. I absolutely loved the medicine and the intrigue of figuring things out. I moved from North VA to Raleigh to attend school, and never left the state after that. I found my husband of 30 years at NC State and we have raised 3 wonderful children here. How did a NY State boy and a CA girl end up in the mountains of NC? Because God knows what he is doing (and has a sense of humor) – this was where Adam got his first job as a lawyer; and where I was told by a friend at vet school about a lady named Kristen Hammett that was looking for an associate.
Because God has amazing plans and he knew where he wanted me. He knew, and showed me, that my mission field would be in veterinary medicine. He has given me many opportunities to witness and minister to my clients that are broken-hearted – either over the lives of their beloved pets or in their own lives; he has given me opportunities to minister to an amazing staff and colleagues through my many years here (25 years this year). And He has given ME opportunities to be ministered TO by amazing staff and colleagues and clients!
Because God had a plan to raise up a leader – for he does not called the equipped, he equips the called. And thus, I can look back over 22 years of service in professional organizations to see where he has been leading me toward regulatory medicine to be a leader on the NC veterinary medical board and with the AVMA with veterinary technicians.
Because the best smell in the world is puppy breath; the best sound in the world is a purring cat and the best feeling in the world is helping others – I’m just lucky enough that I get to help both animals and people.
Why am I a veterinarian? Well, just because.