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At the ripe old age of 7, Pam Hale, DVM, MBA discovered her calling to be a “canine doctor”. Although she didn’t grow up with vets who looked like them, that never tarnished her dream.
“I didn’t meet my first black vet until college [at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine]. All instructors were [Black]and after completing various summer programs and various alumni practices, this is how I met the majority of black and minority veterinarians. “
In her open conversation with Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, Hale talks about her path to becoming a black veterinary chief of staff in a predominantly white industry. She also shares her thoughts on the current state of the profession on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
Upon graduation, Hale worked for 9 years in a private practice owned by a Tuskegee alum before embarking on a new path that would eventually lead her to Atlanta. “I wanted to try something different,” she tells Christman.
When the opportunity presented itself, Hale took it directly and landed it in veterinary medicine in the late 1990s. “I say a lot of it was stupid luck, but it was also in the right place at the right time. I took every opportunity that presented itself to me. “
Hale says she has watched for years how other people who didn’t look like her and had less experience and success were promoted before her, a grim reality other minorities in the field can relate to.
Commenting on the current racial climate in veterinary medicine, Hale says change is slow. It is true that there are not that many black and minority veterinarians who can be promoted to leadership roles: “We are here and we are striving for these positions. We want the opportunity, ”she says.
Listen below to learn more about Hale’s story and their perspective on DEI efforts.