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After graduating from veterinary school, I hope to enter into an internship and then a surgical residency with the ultimate goal of pursuing surgical boards to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. It’s my goal to become a leader in my field and pursue new clinical research, ideologies, and methods in order to drive progress in the field of veterinary surgery. I think this will not only benefit my career personally but I believe that researching new surgical methods, determining surgical outcomes, and exploring complications will improve veterinary medicine for my colleagues as well as our patients. There are so many methods, tools, and surgeries performed in human medicine that we have yet to attempt; cardiothoracic surgery is an expansive field in human medicine that veterinary medicine has not yet fully explored. It’s my hope that I can help drive innovation and exploration in these areas.
During my second year of veterinary school, I picked up several leadership positions. I ran for and ultimately won the presidency of the Veterinary Surgery Club, secretary of the student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and Event Coordinator of the Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. With these positions, I was largely in charge of coordinating events ran by the clubs in order for the student body to benefit and gain extracurricular experience in skills we were otherwise not taught in school. Events that I helped plan including bandaging labs, splenectomy and gastropexy wet labs, equine physical exam labs, and suture labs.
Prior to vet school, I was involved with an organization known as Delta Epsilon Mu. Delta Epsilon Mu, or DEM for short, is the first co-ed pre-professional health sciences fraternity in the country. We catered to undergraduate students of any age and focus of study and worked to provide opportunities both to our members as well as utilizing our member base to serve the community. During my membership with DEM, I ran for and was voted in as Secretary. Duties of my role included keeping track of all meeting minutes, membership requirements and making sure that members had fulfilled their monthly duties. I was also responsible for obtaining all members’ GPAs and verifying that they met our minimum GPA requirement for membership. During my time there, I developed a list of alumni names and contact information in order to facilitate discussion between active members and alumni and allow active members to find a mentor.
In order to be a good leader, there are certain traits and skills that are required. Particularly in veterinary medicine, compassion is an extremely important trait for a leader. The ability to be compassionate to both your patients as well as your employees and coworkers is an often overlooked and underutilized skill. Another skill that is often ignored in the case of a leader is the ability to delegate. Too often, individuals believe that the quality of a leader is directly related to their willingness to shoulder ever accumulating tasks and responsibilities when, in actuality, the quality of a leader should be more closely associated with the ease in which whey assign tasks and recruit assistance. Other important traits that make a good leader include the ability to deliver and receive feedback with an open mind and no preexisting prejudice and the ability to separate work from play. In a society that is further entwining personal and work relationships, it’s ever more important to be able to delineate between professional environments and separate professional and social relationships and one cannot be a good or strong leader without being able to do so.
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