I have been fascinated with animals since I was a child, partly because they were very forgiving and often nicer than people. If you were late to feed them or had been gone all day, they were always happy when you remembered them or came home.
When I got to high school, I realized I needed to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I remember thinking at one point that I would never work in an animal clinic after visiting one when I was younger. I am not sure why I was so sure of that, but I think it made more of an impression on me at the time than I thought! Now I can’t imagine not working at an animal clinic!
I was fortunate that James Herriot was a popular television series when I was in high school, because the show further encouraged me to go into veterinary medicine. Women were discouraged from entering the profession when I was in high school.
I had one veterinarian tell me I would be taking work away from men and he would not support my efforts. I was discouraged by a lot of folks from high school through college to not enter the profession. In addition, I was told that the profession was too demanding for women.
Ultimately, with a Master’s degree in Anatomy and Physiology, as well as being a laboratory technician added to my resume, I was invited to be part of the Kansas State of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1990. I have not looked back and I am so grateful that I stuck it out. It has been very rewarding and at times difficult.
Would I trade it for another career – No! The profession challenges me daily and the rewards come in many different ways.