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As we prepare to say goodbye to and break free of 2020, it is time to look ahead and celebrate the future. Vet Candy’s 10 under 30 give us hope for the future of veterinary medicine with these incredible veterinary professionals focused on changing culture, empowering others, and promoting equality.
According to Insight Into Diversity, nearly 12% of veterinary students identify themselves with a disability, with around 40% being physical disabilities. However, disabled veterinarians rarely get the attention they deserve. A veterinary student, Jessica Hirsch, is fighting to change that. Jessica is a DVM sophomore (2023) student at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. She is also the first disability liaison at Tufts CSVM, a position she wanted to hold last year.
Dr. Tierra Price, a 2020 Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, believes it’s time for more diversity in the veterinary profession. So she founded the BlackDVM Network, an organization that connects and celebrates black veterinarians. The inherently virtual group stays connected mainly through social networks like Facebook and Instagram.
Dr. Kathryn Slaughter-Mehfoud
Being a veterinarian is not always easy, but the rewards of our profession are plentiful. This is especially true for Dr. Kathryn Slaughter-Mehfoud, looking forward to making the horse world a better place.
Dr. Kat is from Lexington, North Carolina and is a veterinary graduate from Western University. She then did her Masters in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. And now she is in her third year of residency in equine surgery at the University of Illinois.
Even if staying in any area is a daunting task. Dr. Kat makes sure to keep her balance outside of work. Much of that is focused on her growing family, which includes baby Caroline, who was born in November.
Juan Sebastian Orjuela, also known as “Juancho”
Juan is a third year veterinary student at Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Canada. He is a co-founder of the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA). Originally from Bogota, Colombia, the family immigrated to the Midwest as a child. Juancho uses his social media platforms to support diversity and inclusion while documenting his life journey.
Jamie is a fourth year veterinary student at the University of California at Davis. She plans to do a PhD in animal behavior after graduation. In her spare time, she crochets clean recycled plastic bags into marine animals to keep a little more plastic out of the oceans, to raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution and its effects on our oceans and the animals that live there, and raise money for ocean cleansing organizations. She has raised more than $ 6,000 for various conservation organizations.
Shannon Gregoire, a third-year veterinary student at Western University, grew up on a farm in rural Massachusetts that was stocked with horses, fresh eggs, and an apiary. Although she entered veterinary school to specialize in equine medicine, she has shifted her focus to the business side of veterinary medicine. In between class and her best life, she writes about personal branding, leadership, and career choices.
Tatiana recently graduated from business school and received her MBA through Colorado State University’s dual degree program. She’s working on becoming a vet from there.
She is currently in her second year as a veterinarian at CSU and is passionate about really changing veterinary medicine. In particular, Tatiana hopes to improve the mental health of veterinary students by tackling mental health issues in the veterinary world and by encouraging veterinary students to strike a healthy balance between school and home life.
She models this on her Instagram page and shows that a life in veterinary medicine can be balanced with other interests, in her case fitness, enjoying the outdoors, and a generally healthy lifestyle. In addition to a balanced lifestyle, she is also committed to women in medicine and has spoken out against gender-specific inequalities.
Veterinary medicine is essentially about optimizing the health of an animal’s body. Lexi Rodriquez has gone one step further and is as focused on human health as it is on animal health – especially her own.
As a competitive bodybuilder, she dedicates herself to those hours in the gym, building muscle and overcoming weak spots to win. By the time she finishes her workout, she is optimistic and motivated for the rest of her day.
Her hard work has paid off for her. In addition to her work as a nutritionist and personal trainer, she won first place in the beginner class for NPC Iron Horse 2019 and third place in the bikini competition.
Dr. Kathryn Duncan
If you are an avid veterinary parasitologist, you may already be aware of its far-reaching implications for human and animal health. Despite many advances in veterinary medicine, parasites remain a major barrier to animal welfare. A number of professionals are helping to change the scope of veterinary parasitology across the animal health field. One such specialist is Dr. Kathryn Duncan.
Many Dr. Knowing Kathryn, you’ll agree that she changed the veterinary world a lot. Kathryn Duncan, an animal lover, received her PhD in veterinary medicine from the University of Tennessee. She is currently doing her doctorate as Dr. and clinical training toward board certification in parasitology from Oklahoma State University. Which is pretty fascinating considering they have the help of one of the leading veterinary parasitologists, Dr. Susan E. Little, gets.
Third year veterinary student Lara Theis is a passionate animal lover, newlyweds and personal fitness trainer. A native of New Jersey, she dedicates her time outside of school helping others. As a freshman at the University of Georgia in 2018, she founded Mrs. Fit – a personal fitness and nutrition coaching company that specializes in helping women in the medical field transform themselves physically and mentally.